Wall Street giant Morgan Stanley to bar unvaccinated staff

A sign is displayed on the Morgan Stanley building in New York.

Wall Street giant Morgan Stanley’s staff and clients will be barred from entering its New York offices if they are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Unvaccinated employees will need to work remotely, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The policy comes into effect next month, in a move aimed to allow the lifting of other Covid-related rules.

Last week, the investment bank’s chief executive called on workers to return to the office.

An internal memo said: “Starting July 12 all employees, contingent workforce, clients and visitors will be required to attest to being fully vaccinated to access Morgan Stanley buildings in New York City and Westchester.”

The BBC understands the move will allow the company to remove restrictions in offices on face coverings and social distancing.

The policy currently operates on an honour system, but the bank may later decide to require proof of vaccination status.

Morgan Stanley had already implemented so-called “vaccine-only” workspaces in some departments, including institutional securities and wealth management.

Earlier this month, Morgan Stanley chief executive James Gorman said: “If you can go into a restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office.”

Speaking at a conference, Mr Gorman said he would be “very disappointed” if US-based workers had not returned by September.

It came as a number of banks are taking a tough position on home-working.

Jamie Dimon, the boss of America’s biggest bank JP Morgan, recently said he wanted US staff back in the office from July.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs bankers were instructed to report their vaccine status ahead of returning to their desks earlier this month.

While a Goldman Sachs memo seen by the BBC strongly encouraged staff to get vaccinated, it said it stopped short of telling them they must have the jab: “We understand that the choice to get vaccinated is a personal one.”

In December, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency, gave the go-ahead for firms to bar unvaccinated staff from workplaces, subject to exceptions for religious and medical reasons.

Barclays’ chief executive Jes Staley, said in February that working from home was “not sustainable”. At a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum, he said: “It will increasingly be a challenge to maintain the culture and collaboration that these large financial institutions seek to have and should have.”

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