A pair of Canadian banking giants have decided to allow some of their employees to continue working from home at least until April next year.

The Bank of Montreal (BMO) and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) have extended their work from home plans in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Initially, both CIBC and BMO advised their employees to work from home at least until 2020-end.

In a memo to employees, CIBC group head for people, culture and brand Sandy Sharman said: “Given latest health authority guidance, we now expect the majority of our colleagues working off-site today will continue to do so until at least April 2021.”

The lender added that its staff will be given a four weeks’ notice before any office return plan is implemented.

Moreover, CIBC is building a new headquarters named as the ‘CIBC Square’.

CIBC had planned to move its staff to the new headquarters, by the end of this year. This plan will likely be postponed.

Sharman added: “With the majority of our team members working from home seamlessly, we have the flexibility to align our decisions and timing around our long-term real estate plans, including CIBC Square, and the guidance we receive from local governments and public health authorities.”

On the other hand, in an email statement, a spokesperson for BMO said that the bank does not “foresee any broad-based changes for employees who are currently working from home any sooner than April 2021, unless a specific business need exists.”.

CIBC is the fifth-largest lender by assets, while BMO is Canada’s fourth-largest lender by assets.

The offices of the ‘Big Five’ banks, which include the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank), Scotiabank, BMO and CIBC are based in Toronto, which is currently under lockdown.

Last month, Italian banking major UniCredit curtailed branch access and urged staff to work from home as the Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the country.

Lloyds Bank also asked majority of its staff to continue working from home until at least early 2021 due to the pandemic.