Canada's Royal Bank tells staff to keep working remotely

·1 min read
Financial institutions in the financial district of Toronto

By Nichola Saminather

TORONTO (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Canada has advised all employees in regions including Ontario and Quebec to work remotely if their jobs allow, following advice from these provincial governments, a spokesperson said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Royal Bank, unlike some rivals, did not provide a firm return-to-office date, and leaders had encouraged employees to work from home in December, according to the emailed statement.

In the past week, both Ontario and Quebec announced renewed restrictions amid a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant.

Royal Bank, Canada's biggest bank by market value, joins all its major rivals in keeping employees at home. In December, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and National Bank of Canada, as well as insurer Manulife Financial Corp, all halted plans to bring employees back to their work locations in early 2022.

Several Wall Street banks and investment firms including Bank of America, Citigroup and Jefferies Financial Group have also reversed their push to get staff back to the office due to the spread of Omicron.

(Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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