(Bloomberg) --

UBS Group AG may never bring all of its employees back to the office in a post-Covid-19 environment.

Chief Operating Officer Sabine Keller-Busse said that as many as a third of its employees could work remotely on a permanent basis. The Swiss bank, which had 80% of its worldwide staff at home during the height of the pandemic, is looking at allowing employees back on site in a staggered approach by region.

UBS is still assessing which roles will return to the office, said Keller-Busse in an interview during Bloomberg’s Invest Global event on Monday. Back-office roles are more likely to continue working remotely, while trading operations are more easily conducted on the premises, according to Keller-Busse.

“We will see a hybrid situation,” said Keller-Busse. “We will see quite less travel.” She added that for some roles, such as bankers preparing an initial public offering, being physically present will remain important, while advisory relationships with wealthy clients can continue virtually.

Europe’s Bankers Return to Revamped Post-Covid Office Spaces

Keller-Busse expects the rest of the banking industry to implement similar splits between home and the office, resulting in a lesser need for real estate in the longer term. She said the bank is also preparing to pause or reverse its plans if second waves of infection occur.

Read more about UBS’s plans to return staff to the office:

  • UBS Traders Set for Return to New York Offices at End of June
  • UBS, Credit Suisse, Commerzbank Are Ramping Up Office Staffing

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