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Inside money, markets, and Big Tech

This article was published on March 4, 2020

Banks are turning homes into trading floors to prep for coronavirus outbreaks

Execs are worried Netflix could ruin their bandwidth

Banks are turning homes into trading floors to prep for coronavirus outbreaks
David Canellis
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David Canellis

David is a tech journalist who loves old-school adventure games, techno and the Beastie Boys. He's currently on the finance beat. David is a tech journalist who loves old-school adventure games, techno and the Beastie Boys. He's currently on the finance beat.

The world’s top banks are sending hundreds of staff to disaster recovery sites in preparation for coronavirus outbreaks, Financial Times reports.

JPMorgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs have reportedly tested sites in London and the US recently, spreading staff between head offices and off-site locations to ensure a single coronavirus incident doesn’t cripple their ability to trade.

[Read: Morgan Stanley’s $13B E-Trade buyout is the biggest bank deal since the financial crash]

Citigroup has even gone so far as to install extra screens in employees’ homes so that they resemble a trading floor, FT’s sources said.

“It comes under our judgment — the decision has got to be made every day,” one source told reporters. “These are pretty extreme contingency plans […]. It’s unlikely to happen, but it’s possible.”

Working from home  while an option for many bank workers  could be a problem for traders who require the ability to instantly open and close positions. Senior bank execs are reportedly concerned their children could slow down their internet connections by streaming Netflix while schools are closed.

Some disaster recovery sites are said to be lacking in appropriate infrastructure to fulfil regulatory requirements, such as telephone lines that can be reported, leading some banks to push for flexibility as the situation unfolds.

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