The largest UK banks have announced they will put together extensive contingency plans to ensure that the UK economy and stock market continue to function properly. Also, to ensure the banks can keep running with their staff, under fears that the coronavirus could continue to wreak havoc on the country as cases grow.
After an employee at HSBC’s office in the City was confirmed to have the virus, precautions are now being put in place by multiple institutions to ensure that any exposure to the virus is limited and any employees exhibiting symptoms can self-isolate before it spreads.
The bank sent 100 employees home after it was discovered after a staff member had contracted the virus following travel from Asia.
There are several stages to contingency plans made by the major banks and will likely disrupt business over the coming days as they attempt to keep up their day to day operations.
Staff at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have been temporarily relocated to offices outside of the City to reduce any potential spread of the virus, though there have been no confirmed cases from employees within these companies.
Many of the now-empty locations are undergoing deep cleans to ensure that any remaining bacteria is disposed of properly.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also issued a statement saying that while it had no issue with staff working from home or out of another office to their usual place of work, legal practices and regulations still had to be followed.
The regulator noted that it would be keeping a close eye on employees to ensure they follow typical procedure.
However, whilst several banks have released contingency plans, there are many who will struggle to support the day traders who work within their companies.
Traders and sellers generally sit together on the same floor during trading hours so they can be monitored to meet regulatory standards – making it impossible to work from home.
The banking sector is just the latest to develop contingency plans to continue day-to-day operations if the coronavirus continues to spread, with supermarkets, healthcare providers and the British government all creating plans to keep the country up and running in the face of the virus.