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Bank of America CEO details back-to-office plan, concentrating on Covid-vaccinated employees first

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Key Points
  • Bank of America's back-to-office efforts are concentrated among vaccinated employees right now, CEO Brian Moynihan told CNBC on Monday.
  • "The basic concept is from now to Labor Day or mid-September, you're kind of in that transition mode," Moynihan said.
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Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan details its back-to-office plan

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan on Monday detailed the financial firm's approach to bringing employees back to the office, telling CNBC that those who have received the coronavirus vaccine are the priority for now.

In an interview on "Squawk Box," Moynihan said Bank of America began to ask staff whether they had received a Covid shot a few months ago.

"About 60,000 people in the U.S. ... have told us that status," Moynihan said, adding that the number stands around 70,000 for employees outside the U.S.

"Now we're in the process of inviting those people back to work. We give them 30 days-plus notice," he said. "The basic concept is from now to Labor Day or mid-September, you're kind of in that transition mode. The idea is the vaccinated teammates should be back to work after Labor Day."

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America had 212,201 employees as of March 31, the company said in its latest earnings report.

Moynihan's comments Monday came on the same day that Goldman Sachs' U.S. employees were required to return to the office. In the runup, Goldman required U.S. employees to inform the company of their vaccination status.

Companies across Wall Street and corporate America more broadly have adopted various approaches — some more strict than others — to bringing staff back to the office after the coronavirus pandemic last year prompted an unprecedented adoption of remote work.

Some have decided to embrace a so-called hybrid model permanently, requiring workers to come into the office a few days per week. Other companies have gone further, allowing most employees to work remotely full-time even after the pandemic ends.

Moynihan noted that certain Bank of America employees such as those at bank branches have long been working in person during the pandemic and "done a spectacular job." For those who are continuing to work remotely, Moynihan said he believes there's a desire to return to the office.

"People want to get back to work," said Moynihan, whose firm is the second-largest bank in the U.S. by assets. "It was interesting, I was at this wedding over the weekend and a bunch of young kids working in our industry for a competitor, and they're all ... tired of working out of their rooms."

Moynihan said bringing employees back to the office who haven't been vaccinated against Covid remains a bit tricky. "That's why we're concentrating on the vaccinated people," he said, while emphasizing the importance of controlling coronavirus spread in order for the economic recovery to persist.

"The key is not to lose track of the virus vaccine path and the virus infection path. The No. 1 risk to our economy still is that question," Moynihan said.

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Watch CNBC's full interview with Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan