Morgan Stanley says unvaccinated staff and clients not welcome

Only fully vaccinated staff, clients and visitors will be allowed to enter its offices in New York and Westchester.

Financial firms have drawn a harder lines than others on requiring employees to be vaccinated to be back in the office [File: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg]

Morgan Stanley says staff and clients will not be allowed to enter the bank’s New York offices if they are not fully vaccinated, making it the latest in a line of Wall Street firms to delay the return of unvaccinated employees.

Employees, clients, and visitors will be required to attest to being fully vaccinated in order to access the bank’s offices in New York City and Westchester in the US state of New York, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters late Tuesday.

Those who are not fully vaccinated will need to work remotely, the source added.

The policy, outlined in an internal memo, is one of the most restrictive issued by a major US bank so far. The firm said the goal is to help create a normal office environment, without a need for face masks and physical distancing.

The new policy will come into effect on July 12, the source said.

Warning shot

Just last week, Chief Executive Officer James Gorman fired off a warning shot to employees still uncertain about wanting to return to its buildings. “If you can go to a restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office and we want you in the office,” he said at a conference.

Gorman estimated that more than 90 percent of employees back in the offices were already vaccinated and said he expects that number to inch closer to 100. The bank has not mandated a full return, as at Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co, but Gorman said if the offices were not full by Labor Day in September, “then we’ll have a different kind of conversation.”

While most US employers say they do not plan to require their staff to get vaccinated before returning, some big financial firms have drawn a harder line in recent days. BlackRock Inc told US staff last week that it would allow only those who are fully vaccinated to come back starting next month. Bank of America Corp also plans to prioritise the return of vaccinated staff, summoning all of them back by early September. It said it will make arrangements for unvaccinated people later.

About 72 percent of employers responding to a May survey conducted by advisory and risk management company Willis Towers Watson said they do not plan to require vaccinations to return to the workplace. Instead, most will require that unvaccinated staff wear masks indoors.

Morgan Stanley had already implemented “vaccine-only” workspaces in some divisions including institutional securities and wealth management, according to Financial Times, which first reported the news.

Source: News Agencies