UBS to let two-thirds of staff mix working from home and office permanently

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NEW YORK – UBS will permanently allow as many as two-thirds of its employees to adopt a hybrid model of working from home and the office, according to a person familiar with the plans, in a bid to be more competitive in recruitment compared with many US banks that have taken a more hardline approach.

The lender’s move is being led by chief executive officer Ralph Hamers, the person said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The bank is also committed to offering staff the flexibility of a hybrid work arrangement based on roles and locations, the person said.

The bank’s internal analysis shows that two-thirds of its workforce were in positions suitable for hybrid working, while some roles, such as traders and branch staff, will have to work from site, the person said. No date for a return to the office has been set, the person said.

An official at UBS declined to comment. The Financial Times reported the plans earlier.

The move by UBS sets a stark contrast between the lender and many of its US rivals.

Goldman Sachs Group has required almost all US employees to report to their desks, JPMorgan Chase & Co is asking most of its US workers to start regular office schedules on July 6, while Morgan Stanley chief executive officer James Gorman fired off a warning shot: “If you can go to a restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office and we want you in the office.”

Citigroup has also told most workers that they can adopt a hybrid schedule between home and the office longer term.

Among lenders, Deutsche Bank told US investment bankers that it expects them back in the company’s offices by early September.

Dealing with a global workforce also poses the challenge of a more universal corporate policy with new waves of the outbreak prompting lockdowns and other restrictions across the world.

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