JPMorgan is asking thousands of U.S. staff to spend a day working from home in the coming weeks to test its contingency plans should the coronavirus spread, sources conversant in the program said.
This week the bank may also start sending teams of traders to work from secondary offices in Brooklyn, New York, and in New Jersey, to test its systems and ensure that any kinks are worked out should the bank must introduce emergency plans more broadly, one of the sources stated.
The largest U.S. bank by assets is testing these contingency programs now because, if the coronavirus spreads further in the U.S., it would have to separate employees of the bank’s many enterprise lines to ensure that most business can continue as usual.
The bank started asking managers of each of its four main subsidiaries to select employees and ask them to work from home.
Managers in the consumer & community banking unit, which includes Chase bank and employs over 120,000 people, have requested round 10% of employees to work from home a day this week.
Big U.S. lenders have been introducing contingency plans to respond to the global virus epidemic — asking some employees to work from home, implementing travel restrictions and talking to regulators about potential stresses.
Last week Thursday, JPMorgan told employees it was curbing all but necessary international work travel because of the continuous spread of the novel coronavirus.