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Credit Suisse to Offer Coronavirus Antibody Test to Employees

May 20, 2020, 2:36 PM

Credit Suisse Group AG will offer its employees tests to see if they have been exposed to the coronavirus as banks weigh how to give staff peace of mind about returning to work.

The bank, which has begun implementing a plan to bring employees back to the office in four phases, will soon begin antibody pilot tests developed by Roche Holding AG in Switzerland and will begin rolling out the tests in major hubs from June, according to a memo that was confirmed by a bank spokesman. If the pilot is successful, the bank plans to roll it out across major hubs starting in June, according to the spokesman

“An antibody test can provide a great level of certainty to our employees regarding antibodies in their body, indicating whether a person may have contracted the coronavirus previously,” according to the memo from the bank’s executive board to employees.

The world’s biggest banks are offering measures to reassure employees as a return to offices looms with many countries still in lockdown. Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat told employees they can take an extra day off this Friday after working “harder than ever” in response to the coronavirus pandemic. For its part, Credit Suisse Group offered employees paid family leave as nationwide lockdowns shut schools, leaving parents struggling to balance work and childcare.

The Swiss bank will test its employees free of charge and on a voluntary basis, a spokesman for the bank said in a statement. Over time, the bank may start incorporating tests into its official plans as government guidance on returning to offices evolves, according to the memo.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Patrick Winters in Zurich at pwinters3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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