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BNY Mellon Says Working Remotely Will Continue After Pandemic

May 29, 2020, 3:09 PM

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. may encourage some of its staff to work from home more often after the pandemic as a way to cut costs, joining companies including Twitter Inc. and Barclays Plc in signaling that the crisis will permanently change operations.

With 96% of the bank’s roughly 48,000 workers working remotely, “we’ll maintain that and probably encourage some level of our employees, whether it’s rotational or not, to consider this,” Chief Executive Officer Todd Gibbons said Friday at a virtual industry conference. “We’re going to have to take a look at” real estate, as well, he said.

Major companies around the world are retooling office space for fewer workers and considering more telecommuting. Twitter said earlier this month it would let employees work from home permanently even after the Covid-19 outbreak recedes, and Barclays CEO Jes Staley said in April he thinks skyscrapers built to house thousands of people might be a “thing of the past.” JPMorgan Chase & Co. Co-President Daniel Pinto has said a portion of staff might more permanently work from home on a rotational basis.

Gibbons said his bank is also planning to reduce the amount of disaster-recovery space it maintains to become “more efficient.”

BNY Mellon has been looking for ways to keep expenses in check, in part by automating operations to reduce the number of employees it needs. But a pledge in April to refrain from additional layoffs this year has put additional pressure on the bank to find savings. Reducing real estate such as offices and disaster-recovery sites could help with that.

Gibbons said the bank is also being “disciplined around hiring” and “prioritizing out anything that’s not key right now,” even as it continues work on initiatives aimed at improving earnings productivity.

Separately, BNY reiterated guidance that net interest income will probably be down 2% to 5% in the second quarter from the previous three months as falling interest rates reduce the benefit of higher-than-expected deposit levels.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Michelle F. Davis in New York at mdavis194@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Michael J. Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net

Steve Dickson, Daniel Taub

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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