UBS Group AG and Credit Suisse Group AG will begin allowing more employees to return to their Swiss offices in June as Covid-19 infection rates drop in the center of Europe.
At UBS, workers beyond essential staff will return to offices in Switzerland starting in mid-June, with the speed of their return depending on capacity to maintain social distancing, according to a spokesperson. Credit Suisse could soon enter the second phase of a four-part return plan, pending local guidance, according to a person familiar with the matter.
In Germany, Commerzbank AG has already restaffed its offices to about half of their pre-crisis levels as the rate of new infections in the country falls sharply from a peak roughly two months ago. That’s up from as little as 20% at the beginning of the outbreak, said Gabriele Seum, head of the works council at the German lender’s Frankfurt headquarters.
New reported cases of infections in Switzerland, a country of 8.5 million, were below 20 per day this week. The reopening there and in Germany contrasts with continued restrictions in the U.K., particularly London. Deutsche Bank AG’s asset management unit, DWS, recently decided to ask staff in the British capital to remain at home, while about a fifth of the employees at its headquarters in Frankfurt were allowed to return.
Among the lenders considering a return to offices in the U.K. for now is Citigroup Inc., which will gradually start bringing a portion of its staff back to its London offices over the coming weeks. The Wall Street firm plans to bring back less than 10% of its 5,000 London staff, beginning next week, people familiar with the matter have said.
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