Bank of Montreal has told its investment bankers that they should now work from home, joining a growing list of businesses that are closing offices as the number of COVID-19 cases rises.
According to an email issued to employees on Wednesday and seen by Bloomberg, Canada’s fourth-largest bank told its North American investment and corporate banking division to begin remote work until the week of Jan. 17.
“This decision ensures that we’ll be returning to the office in the safest way possible after the holiday season,” the email says. The division will halt in-office testing pilot projects in Toronto and New York until mid-January, and any scheduled events should be rescheduled or hosted remotely, according to the Toronto-based bank. The memo was confirmed by a business official.
Bank of Montreal joins a growing number of Canadian financial firms, including Ernst & Young LLP, that have scaled back plans to reopen offices due to mounting case counts and fears about the Omicron version. The Bank of Nova Scotia and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce both put their plans to reopen offices early next year on hold this week, while the National Bank of Canada, which had reopened offices at 50% capacity, asked workers to work remotely if possible. Most Canadians, however worry that remote work could limit their career growth.
If it isn’t already, Omicron will be the majority type in Ontario by the end of the week, according to Adalsteinn Brown, co-Chair of the province’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.
“This will likely be the hardest wave of the pandemic.”Adalsteinn Brown, Co-Chair, COVID-19 Science Advisory Table
As the new variant spreads, Canadians are warned not to go outside the nation over the next month.
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