UPDATE: March 24, 2020: Citi will temporarily close as many as 15% of its branches by the end of this week after seeing a drop in foot traffic likely related to customers’ caution over the coronavirus, the bank said in an emailed statement seen by Bloomberg and Reuters.
Citi, which has a much smaller brick-and-mortar footprint — 700 branches, mostly in six U.S. cities — than other banks its size, is shuttering relatively seldom-used locations and sending employees and customers to nearby ones, said the bank, which also will reduce the hours of open locations.
“As our clients and communities increasingly self-isolate, we have noticed shifts in foot traffic and market dynamics — so, to best meet our changing customer needs, we have begun to temporarily close branches where and when it makes sense,” Citigroup spokesman Drew Benson said in the statement.
- Citi will award a $1,000 bonus to U.S. employees who make less than $60,000 a year to cushion the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, CEO Michael Corbat said in a memo Monday, according to Bloomberg.
- Some Wells Fargo employees may be eligible for two kinds of special payments the bank is issuing. The San Francisco-based lender is giving a $600 pre-tax payment to all full-time U.S. employees who earn base compensation of less than $100,000 and have worked for the bank for all of 2019, it said in a statement Monday. Part-time workers will get a $300 payment. Front-line employees — those who must work in the office while others work from home during the coronavirus outbreak — will get an additional $200 per pay period starting April 17 for up to five paychecks, according to Reuters.
- Both Capital One and U.S. Bank have opted to give temporary pay raises to eligible employees.
Citi’s bonus is virtually identical in size ($1,000) and restriction (to employees making less than $60,000 a year) to a special payment JPMorgan Chase announced Friday. For workers based outside the U.S., the payment will be based on "local market compensation levels," Corbat said in Monday’s memo. The bank looks to award most of the payments in April, according to Bloomberg.
"This is a challenging time for our families, communities and for our firm, but we’ve proven our ability to get through tough times before, and we’ll get through this one as well," Corbat said in the memo.
TD Bank also appeared to mirror JPMorgan's example, announcing Tuesday that it would give a two-installment, $1,000 bonus — paid in April and May — to employees deemed essential and unable to work from home. Eligible employees will also receive two extra vacation or personal days.
Wells Fargo’s front-line bonus, however, takes an approach similar to Bank of America’s $200-per-pay-period supplement announced Friday.
There’s a counterbalance to Wells’ perks. CEO Charlie Scharf said in a memo that the bank would not pay out a discretionary profit-sharing 401(k) contribution for 2019, citing last year’s financial performance and the "extraordinary environment," Reuters reported.
Nonetheless, Wells Fargo on Friday unveiled the most generous donation package yet from a big U.S. bank: $175 million to help communities deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, the Charlotte Observer reported. The contributions will focus on housing stability, small business and financial health.
“The coronavirus is disrupting the daily lives of many people around the world, and Wells Fargo has taken — and will continue to take — the steps needed to support our customers, employees and communities during this difficult time,” Scharf said in a statement.
Employees working at Capital One branches that are still open will receive an additional $10 per hour, the bank said Sunday. Other employees involved in customer support, such as call center agents, will receive an extra $5 an hour. The changes are in place until further notice.
U.S. Bank is giving temporary 20% pay raises to 30,000 employees in branches, call centers, field offices and critical service locations, the Minneapolis-based bank said Monday in a statement posted to its website. The Premium Pay Program, as the bank is calling it, lasts four weeks but may be extended.
The bank on Monday also announced a $30 million commitment to coronavirus relief efforts. About $4 million will benefit small-business recovery, with the other $26 million going to local nonprofits across the country, the bank said Monday.
Andy Cecere, the bank’s chairman, president and CEO, praised front-line employees in the statement. "Words cannot begin to express the gratitude I have for our colleagues and all they have been doing to support our customers during this challenging time," he said. "Our branch, contact center and operations employees continue to play an essential role in ensuring we remain able to provide essential banking services to our customers. It’s important that we recognize their extraordinary efforts."