Goldman Sachs is opening its London office to more employees this week, as large investment banks in the City expect more staff to return as UK lockdown restrictions ease.
The US bank is expecting more employees into its Plumtree Court UK headquarters from tomorrow although numbers are likely to remain relatively low, according to a person familiar with the matter. The bank has not sent a memo to its City employees laying out a plan for return, and no one is being forced in, the person added.
Goldman joins some banking rivals in ramping up City office-based employees as the UK gradually lifts restrictive lockdown rules in the wake of a widespread vaccination programme.
JPMorgan told staff that it expects more to return from the 29 March in England, and from 5 April in Scotland, while Credit Suisse said that some markets employees would come into the office on rotation from 29 March. Across the firm, the Swiss bank is expecting UK employee numbers in the office to gradually increase from 12 April.
From 29 March, groups of up to six people or two households will be able to gather in gardens or other outside venues under plans to lift lockdown restrictions and outdoor sports facilities will also reopen. Meanwhile, shops will reopen and holidays in the UK are permitted from 12 April.
Investment banks are being more cautious about ramping up staff numbers too quickly, after numerous lockdowns in the UK forced them to unwind their back to office plans last year. Some banks including JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs had got around 30% of staff back to the office over the summer, with a greater proportion in key units including markets and investment banking.
Goldman Sachs chief executive, David Solomon, has worked in the bank’s New York headquarters throughout the pandemic and has been a vocal proponent of getting more staff back to the office. During a March townhall with employees, he said that the pace of vaccination programmes in the US and UK should mean most staff are back in the office by the summer.
“We know from experience our people do their best when they forge close bonds with their colleagues. There are many ways to do that, but we found the best way is to work together in person on a regular basis,” he said.
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