Morgan Stanley, a New York-based bank, announced this week that all employees would be required to verify their vaccination status. The bank's top executives stated that they want everyone to be vaccinated by September. This could put employees at risk.
Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman stated that if you are able to go to a New York City restaurant, you can also come into the office." He spoke at an industry conference earlier in the month.
Morgan Stanley is just one of many big banks that require employees to return to work and provide documentation proving they have received the coronavirus vaccine.
Goldman Sachs required that most employees return to work on June 14th. Some exceptions extended the deadline to September 30th. Every employee must declare their vaccination status. However, proof is not required. JPMorgan asks employees to also submit their vaccination records via an internal portal.
The banking-industry culture is the origin of the return-to-office movement. Despite decades of digital banking and modernization, top bank executives still believe in face-to-face meetings when negotiating deals. Banks are one of the most prominent industries that encourage employees to return to work as soon as possible after the pandemic passes.
In a memo to employees, Goldman Sachs executives stated that "we know from experience that our culture is one of collaboration, innovation, and apprenticeship."
Banks have attempted to return employees to work in response to the pandemic before. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, tried to order traders to return to their offices in September 2020. This was long before there was a vaccine. The experiment was short-lived and several traders were infected by COVID.