May 13, 2020 / 9:08 PM / 17 days ago

Wells Fargo keeps work-from-home policies at least through June: memo

FILE PHOTO: Warning signs for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are seen on a Wells Fargo bank door in New York City, U.S., March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

(Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) is advising employees to work from home through at least June 30, it said in a memo on Wednesday, noting that the bank is unlikely to return to business as usual the next day.

“It is too early to say exactly when our operations will return to a more normal model,” Chief Operating Officer Scott Powell said in the memo to employees. The bank’s operating committee decided this week on the tentative date, he added.

Roughly 200,000 of the San Francisco-based bank’s 265,000 employees have been working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Those still reporting to the office primarily include employees working from bank branches or operations centers.

The bank had already cautioned workers that its coronavirus-related policies would likely stay in place even after governments loosen lockdowns. States including Georgia and Texas have started non-essential businesses, and hard-hit New York is preparing to ease business restrictions in some regions as soon as this week.

Before July, Wells Fargo executives may consider minor changes to current policies, like allowing customers to use teller windows at branches that have been converted to drive-through only during the pandemic, or resuming some operations in other countries where conditions have eased, the memo said.

When employees do head back to the office, the workplace will look drastically different from before. The bank plans a phased-in return to the office to reduce density, with heightened cleaning and safety policies.

Last month the bank launched an on-site nursing service at 56 of its largest U.S. sites to screen for coronavirus symptoms such as a fever.

Reporting by Imani Moise; Editing by Richard Chang

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