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February 18, 2022

HSBC shuts bank branches in Hong Kong as Covid-19 surges

British banking giant HSBC has closed down some branches as well as its main office in Hong Kong after many of the employees tested positive for Covid-19, Bloomberg has reported.  

In a statement to the publication, the bank said: “This is a precautionary measure to safeguard the health and safety of the bank’s employees and customers, while balancing the need to ensure normal banking services to the community.”

The lender closed the BL1, L3, L5 and L6 floors at its main building in the Central district, which offers branch services.

Furthermore, the London-based bank also shuttered five bank branches in Tuen Mun and Mei Foo.

Commercial areas on Hong Kong Island were also shut in a bid to contain the infection.

HSBC also mandated its staff at the concerned branches to undergo virus tests, the Bloomberg report added.   

HSBC, which is Hong Kong’s biggest bank, operates almost 100 branches in the financial hub.

Hong Kong is battling the worst pandemic wave since the outbreak a couple of years ago. It is facing severe crunch of hospital beds to treat more than 5,000 new cases per day.

In 2020, a Reuters report said that HSBC was resuming its initial plans to cut 35,000 jobs that it had postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The redundancies were part of the bank’s broader restructuring strategy to trim $4.5bn in costs.

In March, the bank decided to postpone the job cuts as it did not want to push staff out amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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