European banks broaden measures to combat coronavirus spread

FRANKFURT: European banks expanded their emergency measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus, with Deutsche Bank and BBVA reorganising operations after employees tested positive for the infection.
Deutsche Bank has split some of its trading operations across locations in Frankfurt, while BBVA has shut down one building at its headquarters in Madrid.
The spread of the coronavirus is increasingly disrupting financial companies’ operations and adds to the effects of a weaker economy on their businesses.
Private equity firm KKR & Co Inc said late on Monday that an employee at its London office had tested positive, causing it to temporarily close both its sites in the city.
Standard Life Aberdeen said on Tuesday that it was planning to split its British and US investment teams into groups and have them work separately as part of contingency planning.
Traders at the world’s biggest banks began last week swapping their plush city centre offices to work from suburban outposts in New York and London, facing lengthy commutes as their employers attempt to reduce the disruption caused by coronavirus.
Last week HSBC sent 100 employees home after a staff member in its research department in London tested positive for the coronavirus. S&P Global has asked all of its 1200-strong workforce in its Canary Wharf office to work from home after confirming the affected HSBC employee visited their office.
The measures by Deutsche on Tuesday are expected to affect dozens of people and last until at least March 27. The bank also split some operations in London on Monday, following similar moves in places including Italy and China.
“We expect no impact on our ability to operate our full range of services for our clients and recognise that this setup will require extra effort and discipline from all,” Deutsche said in a memo to staff. — Reuters