Barclays CEO Jes Staley claims that the COVID-19 pandemic could permanently change how banks and their employees do business in the future.
Banks, which like many companies worldwide have seen the majority of its staff work from home offices, will not revert fully to its pre-January working habits, Staley said.
“There will be a long-term adjustment in how we think about our location strategy…the notion of putting 7,000 people in a building may be a thing of the past,” he told reporters after the bank reported a fall in first-quarter profits.
Staff including investment bankers could work instead from branches as well as other locations, he added.
The CEO informed Barclays plans to reopen its Hong Kong office first. Then it will open other Asian offices in Singapore and Tokyo, with European openings coming later.
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These comments by the boss of one of Britain’s biggest banks show how business leaders are contemplating making possibly permanent alterations to work methods.
Banks worldwide have in recent years increasingly shifted many staff away from expensive skyscrapers in financial hubs, but Barclays and its rivals still pack thousands of workers each into single offices in London’s Canary Wharf financial district.