Are financial institutions rejecting remote working?

  • 5 February 2024
  • Blog | Professionalism and Ethics | Blog

In the changing landscape of the banking and financial services sector, typical working models continue to shapeshift. If COVID brought about a mandated wave of remote working, politics, and productivity concerns might be reversing it. If parents’ calls for flexible working policies have been heard loud and clear, trends in the US towards return-to-office mandates among bigger financial institutions are also being heeded.    

As we stand at the intersection of technology, changing societal norms, and the aftermath of unprecedented global events, the way institutions operate, and professionals work is evolving at an unprecedented pace. So, what is the current status quo when it comes to working policies in the financial services sector? Here’s a round of up of some key organisations, and their approach to a new way of working.  

  • 1. Lloyds Banking Group 

Lloyds Banking Group, in September of this year, announced that their 40,000 employees were required to spend at least two days a week in the office. The bank explained that the decision was related to the ability to effectively collaborate. It has been reported that the move has been met with resistance from some employees.  

  • 2. HSBC  

In August, HSBC announced that its 18,500 employees would be requited to work from their offices for three days a week. This hybrid model has likely contributed to the HSBC’s group to move from its global headquarters in London’s Canary Wharf, after more than 20 years in the heart of the city.  

  • 3. Citigroup 

Citigroup also employs a hybrid model based on the 3:2 system – which impacts the majority of the organisation’s 240,000 employees. Citigroup uses their flexible, hybrid model to attract talent – and while the in-office days are enforced, Citi has been vocal about its commitment to flexibility and some remote working.  

  • 4. Goldman Sachs 

In contrast, Goldman Sachs has been vocal about returning employees to the office as soon as possible – citing collaboration and culture as key reasons. Employees have been asked to return for the full five working weekdays. 

  • 5. JP Morgan Chase  

 JPMorgan put a return-to-office order in place for its senior executives and the leaders of its trading teams in both London and New York during the COVID-19 pandemic, when cases began to fall somewhat3.  CEO Jamie Dimon has followed this up with a company-wide request to return to the office, which was met with some pushback.  

It's clear therefore, that there’s a trend away from fully remote roles amongst some of the world's largest financial institutions. But a divide has arisen between those operating a hybrid model, and citing flexibility to attract talent, and those rejecting home working entirely. What the future has in store for the changing world of work remains to be seen.  

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