Global banks are moving faster in Hong Kong. This is to get staff back to office versus in other major centers, given fewer daily COVID-19 cases in the Asian city, and are offering incentives such as onsite vaccinations and days off to encourage inoculation.
More than 70% of Morgan Stanley’s staffs are back at their desks in the Asian financial hub. Meanwhile 60%-70% of Credit Suisse employees are in their office. A Citigroup spokesman said that 75% of the bank’s staff were in the workplace in Hong Kong. JPMorgan is planning to reach 75% office occupancy. And by June end Bank of America is aiming to reach full capacity. Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan and Bank of America had declined to comment upon this when asked. A spokesperson told that at UBS, up to 60% of its Hong Kong workforce were back in the office. Hong Kong office occupancy of many of these banks will be ahead of the rates in New York and London.
The bank’s return-to-office push in Hong Kong comes amid the city’s deal making boom and hiring frenzy as the Chinese economy recovers from the pandemic. Because this return to office will allow bankers to attend meetings in person and also helps to secure more deals in a market. Most banks are offering two days off for employees who get vaccinated. On June 16, Morgan Stanley had a set up for vaccination operation for their staffs who had not yet received any shot. And also, they are planning for the second shot operation also. Meanwhile, Citi hosted its first onsite vaccine clinic for local staff on June 22.
Very few are retaining a flexible approach rather than this hurry up to office. An HSBC spokeswoman said that the bank’s Hong Kong headquarters says that people choose between working from office and home. Goldman Sachs is also encouraging all staff members to get vaccinated in the Hong Kong office.