Monday 2 March 2020 4:05 pm

Goldman Sachs and Citigroup halt foreign business trips over coronavirus

US banking giants Goldman Sachs and Citigroup have expanded their restrictions on business trips by staff in response to the coronavirus epidemic. 

Citigroup’s restrictions will now cover all international business trips “until further notice”, the bank said. Previously, it had only restricted travel to a select number of countries that had reported outbreaks of the virus. 

Read more: Coronavirus: OECD warning caps FTSE 100 gains after BoE statement

Citigroup has also banned its bankers from attending meetings and events with over 25 people due to fears over the spread of Covid-19, according to the Telegraph. 

“What impact this is going have on deals nobody knows,” a source told the paper. “But everyone is afraid that if the outbreak… continues, they don’t want to be known as having been at ‘the meeting of death’ if an event is identified as a source of coronavirus spreading.”

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs has told staff to postpone all non-essential international business travel due to the coronavirus epidemic, according to a memo seen by City A.M.

In the memo, Goldman said it was extending its “precautionary measures” related to the outbreak and expanding its self-isolation policy, as international businesses move to contain the spread of the outbreak. 

“Effective immediately, all non-essential international business travel should be postponed,” said the memo. “All international travel will require divisional chief operating officer approval.” 

Goldman said it will now restrict business travel to and within all of Italy, and that additional restrictions were in place covering travel to Iran. The bank had already imposed restrictions for travel to China and South Korea. 

All staff who have visited the countries or had close contact with individuals who have will be required to self-isolate and stay out of Goldman’s office for at least 14 days. 

Global firms including Google, Amazon, Apple and BP have introduced limits or bans on staff travel in a bid to contain the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.

Read more: Wimbledon College closes after staff member contracts coronavirus

Businesses including Chevron, Crossrail, OMD and Baker McKenzie have asked staff in their London offices to work from home as a precaution. 

Earlier today, London school Wimbledon College said it would be closed for at least a week after a staff member contracted coronavirus following a trip to Italy.

Citigroup has been contacted for comment. 

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