June 23, 2020 / 9:31 AM / 21 days ago

Banks to cut office space in London after COVID, minister says

FILE PHOTO: General view of the Canary Wharf financial district in London, Britain, May 5, 2020. REUTERS/Marika Kochiashvili/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Some banks will cut office space in London’s financial district as they “reset” their operations following the COVID-19 pandemic, Britain’s financial services minister said on Tuesday.

The bulk of staff at banks have been working from home since Britain introduced a lockdown in March to fight the pandemic.

It has highlighted potential savings in expensive London office space over the longer term, as working from home is expected to become more prevalent after the lockdown has shown that it can function effectively on a large scale.

“Having spoken to a number of CEOs in recent weeks, they have all got a different take on it,” John Glen told an online event on women in finance held by New Financial think tank.

“Some of the banks will reduce their physical footprint in terms of their square footage in the City. Others are valuing the need to get back into a single place to spend more time because we have lost some of the softer elements of interaction through this period,” Glen said.

Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Alex Richardson and Alison Williams

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