New normal? Banks split over home working

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Bankers are used to spending long hours at their desks, sometimes with a bit of shouting thrown in, but now their employers are wondering if that’s, all a thing of the past. At least some big banks reckon homeworking is here to stay, and they’re shedding office.

Space fast HSBC said this week that it would cut its footprint by 40. Lloyds is getting rid of 20 of its office space and Standard Chartered. A third. Not all their rivals see things the same way: Goldman Sachs boss, David Solomon, is not a fan of working from home.

This week he called it an aberration that his bank would correct as soon as possible. Over at Barclays chief executive Jez Staley is hedging his bets. Last year he said the days of 7,000 workers trudging to its main London office were coming to an end, but he says he has no plan yet for any major move regarding real estate.

Some banks worry that WFH is tough for younger staff. They could miss out on learning from colleagues. Gender equality is a worry too union leaders say homeworking. Women have shouldered more child care duties now back office workers are the least likely to make an office return executives say.

Traders will be first back at their desks. Deutsche Bank 4-1 says it’s been hard to adapt home environments for trading teams. The financial world’s. Deserted offices may soon be getting noisy again.