By Imani Moise
NEW YORK – Citigroup Inc <C.N> is splitting its staff in Buffalo, New York, to ensure it can keep its operations humming as the coronavirus spreads across the state, according to a source familiar with the plans.
The third largest U.S. bank will this week keep fewer than 60% of its Buffalo-based staff at its main site, with the rest either working from home or at a back-up site near Rochester, NY, the source said. Citigroup has around 1,800 employees at the Buffalo location, many of whom work in operational roles.
Banks in the world’s largest finance hubs like New York and London have been splitting up trading teams and activating backup offices in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. Citigroup’s latest move shows contingency planning has now extended to smaller cities as well.
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York state rose to 105 on Sunday, up from 89 the day before, according the state governor’s office.
Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a declaration of emergency on Sunday as the pace of confirmed cases accelerated. As of Sunday there were no confirmed cases in Eerie County where Buffalo is located. Twelve people have tested positive in New York City, where Citigroup is headquartered.
JPMorgan Chase & Co <JPM.N>, Bank of America Corp <BAC.N>, and Morgan Stanley <MS.N> split some of their Manhattan-based teams last week.
In the United States, 19 people have died out of about 450 reported cases of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 3,600 globally.
(Reporting by Imani Moise in New York; editing by Jane Wardell)