The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing to the fore the hard-driving culture of Wall Street trading desks.
At Bank of America’s (NYSE:BAC) global markets division, global sales executive Soofian Zuberi told his staff that they’re expected to show up at the office even as the pandemic surged in New York City, the New York Times reports, citing interviews with nine current employees and six former employees who have knowledge of the conditions there.
The division’s bankers, stock salespeople, traders and other make trades and otherwise do business on behalf of corporations and investors. Such units often rack up their best profits when markets are volatile.
In addition, BofA hasn’t been transparent about how many of its employees are sick or where they’re located, stoking fears that workers who show up at the office may have had worked near infected employees.
A BofA spokeswoman, though, said that 95% of its trading-business employees are now working from home. The company formed two teams and suggested they alternate between weeks working from home and in the office.
The situation sounds similar to a Bloomberg report detailing the pressures put on JPMorgan Chase’s trading desk and others.