A leaked audio transcript showed a Bank of America exec rejecting concerns of staff who didn't want to come to the office for fear of the coronavirus
Bank of America
- A senior Bank of America executive lamented the negative impact of the coronavirus on his staff, in audio leaked to CNBC.
- Fabrizio Gallo, global head of equities, told top-level colleagues during a March 25 call that staff productivity comes before personal comfort and the wish to work from home.
- "You cannot on one hand say you cannot trust the firm and on the other hand get the money from the firm, for a long period of time," Gallo said, CNBC reported.
- Bank of America told CNBC: "This conversation took place two weeks ago when we were establishing new protocols about employees executing trades from home. We have 95% of our people working from home in the trading businesses including some of our most senior traders."
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A recording of a top Bank of America executive complaining about the effect of the coronavirus on his staff's work-ethic has been leaked to CNBC.
Fabrizio Gallo, global head of equities and a powerful figure at the Wall Street bank, told colleagues on a March 25 conference call that the productivity of office-based staff in critical roles should come before their fears of getting sick, according to CNBC.
"Of course, we are going to entertain special cases but not the 'I don't feel comfortable, sorry.' It doesn't work that way over the long term," Gallo told senior colleagues, including Glenn Koh, global head of equities trading and Cyrille Walter, global head of equity derivatives, according to a transcript of the audio from CNBC.
Also on March 25, the US passed the milestone of 1,000 deaths, and had reported 68,647 total cases of the coronavirus
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Discussing staff fears about COVID-19 infection and their desire to shift to home working during the coronavirus crisis, Gallo said: "We cannot provide proper and orderly markets if 99% of the population decides they don't feel comfortable."
"So, people have to understand that too. You cannot on one hand say you cannot trust the firm and on the other hand get the money from the firm, for a long period of time if you are in a critical function," Gallo said, according to CNBC.
"Now if people decide they don't want to be in a critical function we can have that conversation too."
The bank's CEO Brian Moynihan told CNBC on April 3 that only 5% of traders were currently working in the bank's offices.
Moynihan was one of several business leaders that signed an open letter pledging to put employees needs first amid the outbreak.
"To employees, our principle is to keep you safe," the letter said. "We will continue to do everything we can to protect your workplace, and to help you to adapt to the new working conditions."
In response to the CNBC report, a Bank of America spokesperson said:
"The premise of this conversation is that after a period of time and the government and health officials have said that it is safe, people will need to come back to work and we know people will have personal challenges and we will need to help them plan for that. This conversation took place two weeks ago when we were establishing new protocols about employees executing trades from home. We have 95% of our people working from home in the trading businesses including some of our most senior traders."
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