U.S. Banks Limit Travel in Response to Coronavirus
Many large U.S. banks have strengthened their employee travel restrictions due to the evolving Coronavirus situation unfolding across the globe. Most have limited non-essential trips and are now requiring approval from top executives before allowing employees to travel. Banks taking these types of actions include Citigroup Inc, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo & Co., MetLife Inc., Bank of New York Mellon Corp., and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
After the first restrictions were enacted in February, the European Union set up a team to deal with outbreaks in Italy and Spain. South Korea and Iran have also reported many infections. There are roughly 89,000 global cases, including some seen in New York.
Among the banks with travel restrictions, Morgan Stanley has not completely restricted domestic travel, although employees were instructed to not travel internationally for nonessential business. According to an internal memo reported by Bloomberg, the company “will closely monitor the situation.”
Morgan Stanley also stated that it may expand work-from-home requirements. The memo from Jen Easterly, global head of its crisis-response operation, said that “individuals should bear this in mind when considering personal travel.”
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. restricted non-essential travel and postponed the upcoming Global Macro Conference in New York. The conference features commentary from Goldman Sachs analysts about the world economic outlook.
Alternatively, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. stated that it will still present its yearly shareholders meeting in May, despite future conditions of the virus. In a statement on their website, Berkshire said that “the scope of the meeting and associated activities may be modified by circumstances at the time, but we have no present plans to do so.”