Deutsche Bank sends staff home as Covid surges in US

Employees had option to work remotely until mid-2021, but some had returned

Deutsche Bank CEO of Americas Christiana Riley and 60 Wall Street (Wikipedia Commons; Getty)
Deutsche Bank CEO of Americas Christiana Riley and 60 Wall Street (Wikipedia Commons; Getty)

Deutsche Bank sent its Americas investment bankers home as the pandemic intensified across the U.S.

“We have been concerned that a second wave may come, and it is not surprising that this should impact Deutsche Bank,” said Matthias Krause, its chief of staff for the Americas, in a memo to staff, Bloomberg reported. “We have decided that front office staff in the investment bank in the Americas will work from home until further notice,” he said.

The bank had said that workers previously had the option to work from home until the middle of next year, but some had been returning gradually.

The decision comes days after the bank proposed a work-from-home tax. In a research report entitled “What we must do to rebuild,” Deutsche Bank suggested that employees who work from home should be taxed extra because they benefit from reduced transportation, food and clothing costs.

The bank estimated that at a rate of 5 percent for a $55,000 salary, the tax could raise $48 billion.

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Some tech companies have also considered pay cuts for workers who choose to live in more affordable areas while they work remotely.

Even with the potential for reduced compensation, few workers want to return to the office — especially in New York, where only 13 percent were at their desks last week, data from 10 major metro areas showed. Dallas led with 41 percent in the office; the 10 cities’ average was 25 percent.

The Partnership for New York City, which represents the city’s largest businesses, conducted a survey in October which found only 15 percent of Manhattan office workers expect to return this year.

When the pandemic hit, Deutsche Bank was in the process of moving its New York City headquarters to the Time Warner Center from 60 Wall Street.

[Bloomberg] — Georgia Kromrei