- Citi will require all of its U.S. workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition to remain employed at the company, according to a Thursday post on LinkedIn by Sara Wechter, the bank's head of human resources.
- Bank employees who provide proof of the jab by Dec. 8 will receive a $200 "thank you," according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg. The bank set a Jan. 14 deadline for staff to upload their vaccination cards to give unvaccinated workers extra time to get their shots, the wire service reported.
- The policy makes Citi the first Wall Street bank to mandate the vaccine as an employment condition. The bank in August required employees in New York City, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia to get vaccinated before returning to the office.
Wechter said Citi based its vaccine mandate on two factors.
"First, as the U.S. government is a large and important client of Citi, we have an obligation to comply with the Executive Order issued by the White House mandating that individuals supporting government contracts be fully vaccinated," she wrote. "Second, having a vaccinated workforce enables us to ensure the health and safety of our colleagues as we return to the office in the U.S."
The requirement will affect about 65,000 workers, CBS reported.
Wechter, however, said the bank will "assess all requests for religious, medical or any other accommodation required by state or local law on a case by case basis."
"Our people are our most important asset, and we will do all we can to help our colleagues comply with this new requirement," Wechter wrote.
Vaccine policies among Citi's competitors vary from bank to bank. Morgan Stanley restricted unvaccinated employees, clients and visitors from entering its New York City and Westchester County offices in July, but initially took them at their word. The bank began requiring office-based employees to provide proof of vaccination Oct. 1.
Goldman Sachs began requiring its office-based workers to show proof of vaccination Sept. 7. Unvaccinated staff there are required to work remotely.
JPMorgan Chase this month banned travel and in-person meetings for employees who are unvaccinated or have not reported their vaccination status. Unvaccinated staff must be tested for COVID-19 twice a week, and will receive heftier payroll deductions to cover the cost of testing beginning next year, the bank said in a memo, adding it would require new hires in certain positions, such as client-facing roles, to be vaccinated before joining the company.
Wells Fargo in June confidentially surveyed its U.S. employees regarding their vaccination status.
Citi wouldn't be the only bank offering a $200 incentive surrounding proof of vaccination. Bank of America began offering that sum this month to Merrill Lynch Wealth Management branch employees who return to the office and confirm they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. "While there is no vaccine mandate across the company, we strongly recommend employees be vaccinated and to notify us of their status," a Bank of America spokesperson told Reuters.
Wechter, in the memo, laid out a domino effect of compliance with President Joe Biden’s September executive order. If a Delaware-based Citi team supports a government contract, everyone in that office must be vaccinated, Wechter told Bloomberg. But if a team member based elsewhere also supports that contract, then everyone in that site must also be vaccinated.