Citigroup expands virus restrictions, curbs meeting travel

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Citigroup expanded restrictions on employee business travel this week as the coronavirus continued its spread around the world, according to people familiar with the matter.

The bank added Italy to the list of countries off-limits to employees after restricting travel to and from Asia for the last several weeks, the people said, asking not to be named discussing private information.

Employees who have traveled to China, South Korea, Italy or Iran for business or personal reasons have been asked to work from home for two weeks, the people said. The restrictions also apply to employees or clients attending the lender’s conferences and events.

The bank has canceled large internal meetings that require international travel for the next month, and restricted employees from attending outside events that may have participants from affected areas, the people said.

“We are monitoring the situation closely,” Ed Skyler, Citigroup’s global head of public affairs, said in an emailed statement. “We have local and regional contingency plans in place and we have well-established business continuity plans for the firm.”

Citigroup, with 200,000 employees worldwide, is among banks implementing preventive measures. JPMorgan Chase & Co. has curbed nonessential travel globally, while lenders including Deutsche Bank AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. restricted travel to Italy, the worst-hit nation in Europe.

Bloomberg News
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