HSBC Holding PLC has reportedly announced that it has sent more than 100 employees and staff in London after one of its workers tested positive for coronavirus. This is the first known case in a major company in Europe's financial hub. According to reports, the bank also has an employee in China that tested positive for the virus but is in a stable condition now.
According to reports, banks worldwide are preparing back up offices and even isolating teams in an effort to ensure that trading continues even if the virus continues to spread. Italy's UniCredit has also reportedly sent home its staff after two new infections were detected among its employees.
On March 5, JPMorgan in a memo announced that it would be moving its traders in New York and London to off-site locations on the edge of the respective cities. As per reports, the bank runs a British disaster recovery site in Basingstoke, southwest of London, with an alternative building near Blackfriars bridge in the central part of the capital that it plans to use as a backup-site.
As per reports, regulators across the world are worried about the possibility of the virus spreading across the finance industry. They fear that the absence of key staff could cause liquidity problems in markets if trading firms can not operate normally. German Regulators have also reportedly been watching how prepared banks and other institutions are.
The coronavirus and the fear it has caused around the world has not only affected international business but also affected tourism, sports events, and schools. According to reports, almost 300 million students have been sent home worldwide due to closure of schools in an effort to limit or contain the spread of the virus.
While China still accounts for the most number of cases owing to the fact that the virus first appeared there, but infections across the globe are rising with countries like South Korea, Iran and Italy turning into major virus hotspots.
Italy which has emerged as a major cluster for the coronavirus has the biggest outbreak in Europe and it has schools and universities to close down till March 154. Italy has 3,858 reported cases and 148 deaths due to the deadly coronavirus. Another European country, France has reported a sharp rise in cases. It now has over 400 cases and seven deaths in the country.