Barclays reports coronavirus case on New York trading floor

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Barclays Plc BARC.L has told employees that a member of its trading staff in its Manhattan office has tested positive for the coronavirus, the company said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: A Barclays sign is seen outside a branch of the bank in London, Britain, February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo

The company is operating business as usual, Barclays spokesman Mark Lane said in a statement.

The person, who worked out of the 745 7th Ave office, had been in self-quarantine since March 3. The company believes the colleague contracted the virus away from the office late last month.

The European bank has advised employees who worked in the vicinity or had meetings with the individual since that time to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The bank has deep-cleaned the workspace and surrounding area on the second-floor trading area, Lane said in the statement.

“We are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other local authorities,” he said. “We continue to monitor the situation closely and will take further action as appropriate.”

The coronavirus outbreak, which originated in China last year and causes the sometimes deadly respiratory illness COVID-19, has killed more than 4,000 globally and been reported in more than 110 countries.

Banks have been fine-tuning contingency plans in recent weeks to deal with the quickly spreading coronavirus. Institutions like JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N and Bank of America Corp BAC.N have been separating members of their trading staffs and asking bankers to check their remote working capabilities to make sure they can keep operations running as authorities encourage social distancing as a preventive measure.

Trading floors are particularly crucial because the need for high-speed technology and tight oversight makes trading remotely more complicated than other banking functions.

Financial services firms in the United States began reporting their first confirmed cases of the virus this week. Wells Fargo & Co WFC.N said it had a confirmed case in San Francisco on Monday and Blackrock Inc BLK.N reported its first confirmed case in New York City on Tuesday.

Reporting by Imani Moise and Elizabeth Dilts Marshall in New York; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Matthew Lewis