Wells Fargo indefinitely postpones return of office

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Wells Fargo on Tuesday became the largest U.S. bank to indefinitely postpone its plan to return the offices, according to a statement seen by Bloomberg and Reuters.

Employees will receive more details of the bank’s plans in 2022, the statement said.

Tuesday’s decision marks the fifth delay since August in Wells Fargo’s schedule for reopening full-scale offices. The bank has set in September a mandatory return date of January 10 for employees supporting trades, among others.

Over the past week, Wells Fargo’s three biggest rivals – Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citi – each told their New York area employees to work from home for the rest of the year if their roles and / or managers allow it. These guidelines come as the omicron variant emerges as the dominant form of COVID-19.

Wells’ delays began because a previous variant, delta, triggered increased infection rates. COO Scott Powell laid out a two-wave strategy in July ahead of a scheduled return on September 6. This date has been postponed to October 4, October 18, November 1 and finally to 2022.

“We continue to closely monitor the environment with the health and well-being of our employees as a priority,” the bank said in a statement Tuesday. “We look forward to fully returning our teams to the office. “

The San Francisco-based lender isn’t alone in giving up on a new target date. Capital One announced in October that it would give employees 30 days’ notice before the decision to reopen is made sometime in 2022.

“It has been 574 days since Capital One first closed its offices in the United States,” the McLean, Va.-Based bank wrote on October 7. “The sustained progress in containing and reducing the impacts of COVID-19 in the United States has been elusive. Eighteen months after the start of this pandemic, this virus continues to surprise and frustrate humanity.”

As Wells did in an earlier deadline, TD pitched the idea of ​​a 2021 comeback in September. Kenn Lalonde, TD’s chief human resources officer, told employees at the time that the bank did not “currently expect a broader return to TD branches. before the 2022 calendar. “He did not specify a date, however.

“We are monitoring developments and will keep you posted when we have new information to share,” said Lalonde.

As for Wells, employees who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 can work from the bank’s premises if they wish. About 100,000 of the bank’s 254,000 employees have done so throughout the pandemic, according to Reuters.

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