March 24, 2020 / 6:51 PM / 5 days ago

CORRECTED-Canadian banks reward frontline employees as coronavirus spreads (March 24)

(Corrects currency in paragraph seven to US dollars from Canadian dollars in March 24 story)

March 24 (Reuters) - Canadian banks on Tuesday followed U.S. heavyweights in offering one-time bonuses and extra paid days off to customer-service employees who are required to work in branches and call centres amid the coronavirus crisis.

Banks have largely been excluded from government-mandated shutdowns in many countries because they are considered an essential industry, meaning most bank branches, call centers, and trading floors have stayed open even as many firms send their employees home.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) and Bank of Montreal (BMO) said they would pay C$50 per day to employees. All CIBC employees are also eligible for up to 10 additional paid days off.

Bank of Nova Scotia will also give C$50 per day to employees, according to a memo seen by Reuters.

BMO will continue to pay employees that are at home, in quarantine, or working from home, or if their branch is closed.

Canada’s six largest banks have said they will temporarily limit operating hours and close some branches as part of measures to support social distancing and curb the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

TD Bank Group employees working onsite will get a one-time award of up to $1,000, split over two payments of up to $500 each in April and May and up to two additional paid vacation or personal days, the bank said on Tuesday.

This benefit will be available to part-time and full-time employees who are required to come into a TD location to do their job.

Large U.S banks are rewarding employees who are working in the frontline through the outbreak.

Citigroup Inc has said it would pay $1,000 to U.S. employees who make $60,000 or less in base salary, while JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, will give workers who are staffing branches and call centers through the pandemic a one-time $1,000 bonus. (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Nichola Saminather in Toronto; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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