March 10, 2020 / 8:02 AM / a month ago

European banks broaden measures to combat coronavirus spread

FRANKFURT, March 10 (Reuters) - European banks expanded their emergency measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus, with Deutsche Bank on Tuesday splitting some of its trading operations across locations in Frankfurt after an employee tested positive.

Private equity firm KKR & Co Inc said late Monday that an employee at its London office had tested positive, causing it to temporarily close both its sites in the city.

The spread of the coronavirus is becoming increasingly disruptive to finance firms’ operations, and proving an additional burden to the effect of a weaker economy on their businesses.

Traders at the world’s biggest banks are swapping their plush city centre offices to work from suburban outposts in New York and London, facing lengthy commutes as their employers attempt to reduce the disruption caused by coronavirus.

Last week HSBC sent 100 employees home after a staff member in its research department in London tested positive for coronavirus. S&P Global has asked all of its 1200-strong workforce in its Canary Wharf office to work from home after confirming the affected HSBC employee visited their office.

The measures by Deutsche on Tuesday are expected to affect dozens of people and last until at least March 27. The bank also split some operations in London on Monday, following similar moves in places including Italy and China.

“We expect no impact on our ability to operate our full range of services for our clients and recognize that this setup will require extra effort and discipline from all,” Deutsche said in a memo to staff. (Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Tom Sims Editing by Riham Alkousaa and Thomas Escritt)

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