- Bank of America has hired 2,000 people this month and is shifting more than 3,000 employees to new roles in its consumer and small-business divisions to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, the bank said in a memo seen by Bloomberg.
- The nation's second-largest bank will also offer a $200 supplement per biweekly pay period to eligible staff working in branches. Additionally, call center and operations center employees who continue to work from the office will receive double their hourly base pay for overtime rather than time and a half.
- All of Bank of America’s 4,300 branches remained open as of Friday, a spokesperson told Reuters. However, the bank said it would reduce hours at its branches to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time Monday through Friday, to give it time to conduct "enhanced, daily cleanings." The bank will continue its regular Saturday hours. Branch employees will be paid for their full weekly schedules even if hours are reduced, according to Bloomberg.
Bank of America’s hiring spree and continued public access to branches runs counter to restrictions several banks have instituted in the past week. JPMorgan Chase announced Wednesday that it would temporarily close 20% of its branches in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Several banks, including Truist, PNC, Fifth Third, KeyBank, Regions and Huntington, followed suit — either closing branches, limiting open hours, steering customers to drive-through windows or restricting lobby access to those with appointments only. Capital One on March 16 also said it would close 120 branches.
"We’re going to continue to provide convenient access to the important services they count on, and the additional assistance and support they need during this difficult period," Dean Athanasia, the bank’s president of consumer and small business, said in a statement.
Bank of America's biweekly concession mirrors those of other big banks. JPMorgan Chase announced Friday that it is offering a one-time, $1,000 bonus to tellers and other “front line employees,” to be paid in two monthly installments, according to CNBC. Wells Fargo, meanwhile, is offering its employees an in-home backup child care benefit, as well as reimbursements of $100 per day for child care that hourly employees arrange on their own, and time off to arrange child care, a spokeswoman told Bloomberg. Citi has told workers that extra sick days taken during the pandemic won’t count toward paid time off. The bank is encouraging older or pregnant workers to stay home with pay them even if their jobs don't allow for remote work. Citi has also said it won't penalize employees if they miss work over child-care arrangements.
Bank of America also pledged $100 million toward medical response capacity, food insecurity and increased access to education as the virus continues to disrupt daily life across the globe, it announced Tuesday.
The bank said Thursday that it’s letting customers request to defer payments on credit cards, mortgages and auto loans, as well as refunds for checking account fees.