Mar 9, 2020
BMO, CIBC join other firms in moving traders amid virus outbreak
Bank of Montreal is splitting up its trading operations in Canada, the U.S., Asia and London, following other firms including Royal Bank of Canada in taking measures to ensure business continues amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“We are separating some of our critical trading staff to our business continuity plan sites in some locations as part of our ongoing testing of our BCP capabilities,” spokesman Paul Gammal said Monday in an emailed statement. “There is no impact to trading operations and we continue to serve our clients as we always do.”
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is also moving some trading-floor employees to backup locations this week, including staffers in Toronto and New York, spokeswoman Jessica Steinberg said in an email.
Royal Bank’s RBC Capital Markets unit started splitting its trading floors in Toronto, New York, New Jersey and London on Monday under its business continuity plans, following moves taken by Wall Street Firms including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp. to have traders work from alternative sites.
A “small number of employees” from Bank of Nova Scotia’s capital markets operations in Canada and the U.S. also started working at secondary sites today, while those in Europe and Asia-Pacific regions have been working in split sites for several weeks, according to an internal memo.
“We are not enacting a full BCP, and the number of impacted employees in Canada, the U.S. and Europe will be limited at this time,” Scotiabank said in the memo Friday. “Our goal is to ensure that we have continued coverage for our business in all key functions, including trading, funding desks and other key functions.”
National Bank of Canada has also taken precautions, including for its main trading operations in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary and, to a lesser extent, a few other cities around the world.
“We have a full set of measures, depending on the location, be it splitting our teams, moving to backup sites or working remotely for some functions,” Claude Breton, a spokesman for the Montreal-based lender, said in an email. “There is strong redundancy between the Canadian trading floors, a long-dating practice at National Bank.”