Citi expects most UK staff to ramp up office time from September

Citigroup expects most of its employees in the UK and the US to spend at least some of their time in the office by September.

The US bank has laid out a return to office strategy, and will increase staff numbers within its Canary Wharf office and US locations as “the health data is much improved”, its head of human resources, Sara Wechter, said in a 7 July LinkedIn post.

Around 1,250 Citigroup employees were coming into its UK headquarters in Canary Wharf in May, and the bank planned to ramp up numbers from June, Financial News reported, on the back of increasing demand from employees.

“This week, we’re excited to welcome back our US colleagues who volunteered to return to the office. While Zoom has been a great tool while working remotely, I’m excited to see colleagues in person and connect off screen,” Wechter wrote.

READ Citigroup lays out plans for staff return to Canary Wharf

The bank has not followed Wall Street rivals by pushing its US-based staff to get a Covid-19 jab, but Wechter said that those provided proof of vaccination would not be required to wear a mask in the office. Employees who have not received a vaccine are required to take a Covid-19 test three times a week and wear masks at all times except when eating or at their desks.

“We know this is a transition for many, and we’ll continue to be flexible to support our colleagues as needed,” she wrote.

Citigroup has so far taken a softer approach than some of its Wall Street rivals in getting staff back to the office, with Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley all pushing for a widespread return where Covid restrictions allow. Its chief executive, Jane Fraser, and investment banking boss, Manolo Falco, said this increased flexibility was a competitive advantage in attracting talent.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Paul Clarke

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