India’s second-largest Covid Wave batting banks
Global banks in India have been forced to take drastic measures to secure healthcare supplies and protect employees as the second wave of coronavirus triggers an unprecedented rate of infection.
India faces an extremely difficult time as the second wave of the coronavirus has resulted in at least 300,000 infections and 2,000 deaths a day over the past week.
The national crisis has affected all sectors of the economy, including global banks which house thousands of employees, especially for back office roles in hubs like Bengaluru, Chennai or Hyderabad.
Many banks have reportedly adopted the basic measure of allowing remote working conditions.
Goldman Sachs fired all but essential employees home in late March after the recent spike in infections that led the bank to reverse its decision to return to normal working conditions.
Another US lender Wells Fargo has also implemented teleworking measures until at least early September, according to a “Reuters” report.
The current predicament is also overwhelming health care supplies – especially oxygen – although the Narendra Modi the government has actively sought support, including from industry, to divert their use and production efforts to tackle the second wave.
Standard Chartered is one of those companies looking for Oxygen Concentrators to support their staff with the CFO Andy Halford admitting at least 800 cases and “a few deaths” among its total workforce of 20,000 people in India, according to a “Bloomberg” report.
In light of the challenges, the UK lender is also looking to move work out of India to service centers in Kuala Lumpur, Tianjian and Warsaw.
Going forward, many companies, including global banks, will seek to rely on vaccination to weather the latest wave of coronavirus.
An infrastructure is being created to immunize thousands of employees and their families after the age restrictions are lifted on May 1.
“We’re actively out there to see what we can do to make vaccines more available, and in particular provide more places for staff to get them,” said Halford of Standard Chartered.