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  • Emma Walsh

Morgan Stanley Boss says ''If you can eat out, you can go to the office'

The boss of a US investment bank is cracking down on employees reluctant to return to work as restrictions ease.

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 comes as a number of banks have taken 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 this week.

Mr Gorman said on Monday that Morgan Stanley is not yet setting a minimum number of days that US staff will be required to be on-site.

But he cautioned that may change if employees do not return by Labor Day, a US public holiday on 6 September.

"Make no mistake about it. We do our work inside Morgan Stanley offices, and that's where we teach, that's where our interns learn, that's how we develop people," he said.

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He added that during the pandemic the bank's operations had become more flexible. But he was resistant to the idea of employees working out-of-state: "If you want to get paid New York rates, you work in New York," he said.

He did point out, however, in areas where coronavirus infection rates remain high, such as in India, staff were not yet expected to return.

About nine in 10 of Morgan Stanley employees working on-site had been vaccinated, Mr Gorman said, having paired up with a healthcare firm to offer jabs on-site in some locations.

Tech giants such as Apple and Google have also recently reversed pandemic working conditions, telling staff to return to the office in the next few months.

Last Thursday, Amazon also told employees they're expected to work in-office at least three days per week, with the specific days to be decided on by leadership teams.

Employees in the UK, US and a handful of other countries are expected to begin their return to the office in early September.




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