SINGAPORE: HSBC and Citigroup recently announced that more workers are being called back into the office for the full working week, marking a shift from hybrid work policies. The two companies, as well as Barclays, are having workers come back to full-time in-person work in the United States and elsewhere in the world, even as regulatory changes are being put in place by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) concerning monitoring workplaces.

These changes make it more challenging for firms to have work-from-home schemes.

HSBC and Citigroup have been well known among the firms on Wall Street for their flexible work culture thus far, but this is about to change.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Citigroup said that 600 of the firm’s employees will need to come back to company offices, although most of its staff will be allowed to work as many as two days a week at home, which is part of Citi’s hybrid scheme.

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As for HSBC, Bloomberg reported that around 530 of its employees in New York, about half of the bank and financial services group’s workers in the city, will be affected by the new regulations.

Ms Mabel Rius, who heads HSBC’s human resources department in the US and Americas, has said that the firm is endeavoring to allow as many employees as desire to continue to work from home and that options are being discussed with them.

HSBC’s head in the Americas has said that the company will not compel all its workers to spend five days at the office, Bloomberg reported on May 23.

FINRA is preparing to return to regulations that had been in place before the pandemic, when it loosened regulations that made it necessary for companies to monitor staff constantly. Since then, however, the authority has taken steps allowing people to work remotely, provided they follow specific measures.

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“The FINRA rules are actually intended to give firms more flexibility, not less, and to allow registered folks to work from their homes. There is no rule requiring registered persons to work from an office five days a week,” said Ms Kayte Toczylowski, FINRA’s head of member relations and education.

Beginning from June 1, Barclays, however, will be asking thousands of its investment banking staff across the globe to come to the office or to see clients five days a week.

“Being together in the office drives innovation, collaboration, and a stronger culture. We remain committed to flexible working and we recognize that there will be times when you will need to work from home,” Bloomberg quoted Cathal Deasy and Taylor Wright, Barclays global co-heads of investment banking, as saying. /TISG

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