Bank of America is splitting its trading force and sending staffers to Stamford amid concern over coronavirus spread, according to an internal memo

  • Bank of America is splitting up its New York-based trading force between two offices as the coronavirus spreads. 
  • The bank is moving to “partial split operations,” according to an internal memo, shifting select employees to a back-up office in Stamford, Connecticut. 
  • For employees in their Manhattan headquarters at 1 Bryant Park, the bank said it was “business as usual.” 
  • The bank also advised staff to test their capabilities for working from home, and asked that they limit visitors to the trading floor. 
  • Bank of America’s shift follows similar moves by JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. 
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Amid growing concerns over spread of the coronavirus, Bank of America plans to split up its trading floor and send employees to offices in Connecticut, according to an internal memo seen by Business Insider. 

The bank is planning to move to “partial split operations” for its New York sales and trading trading staff, moving “a select number of employees” to a back-up office in Stamford by Monday, the leadership of the Global Markets division said on Thursday in a memo to its New York-based FICC and equities employees. 

From the memo:

“After careful consideration of a number of factors, including employee health and ensuring continuous client service, we plan to move to partial split operations for our New York-based FICC and Equities employees. This is purely a precautionary measure that is appropriate given the increasing concern around the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). A select number of employees will begin to work from our back-up office in Stamford, CT by Monday, March 9. Those employees attended an information session this afternoon and will receive additional information on logistics shortly.”

Employees at the firm’s Manhattan headquarters at 1 Bryant Park “should continue to come into the office and operate business as usual,” the memo said, but staff will be banned from moving in between the Stamford office and the Manhattan office. 

Leaders also advised staff to test their remote access capabilities in case they need to work from home, and asked to limit visitors to the trading floor. 

US corporations have been increasingly rolling out contingency plans and precautionary measures amid the spread of the virus, which has 22 confirmed cases in New York state as of Thursday. 

Wall Street banks have been no exception.

Earlier on Thursday Morgan Stanley decided to move half of its institutional-securities traders to a disaster-recovery site in Westchester, New York, Business Insider reported. That move came days after the firm banned nonessential travel outside the US and said additional changes may be forthcoming. 

JPMorgan also on Thursday began shifting London and New York traders to different locations, and earlier in the week the bank asked 10% of its consumer bank to work from home.

Bank of America has asked employees to not come into the office if they have come into contact with someone diagnosed with coronavirus or if they have recently visited China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Iran, or Northern Italy.