On Monday, the New York Stock Exchange halted trading for 15 minutes after stocks fell by more than 7%. Problems connected with oil prices and coronavirus outbreak triggered panic selling. However, the epidemic represents a much bigger logistical headache for Wall Street. The question is how to operate the stock market if banks have to evacuate their offices to contain the virus.
It is important to note that global banks are trying to mitigate the problems caused by the outbreak. For example, banks decided to split their workforces to reduce the risk that large numbers of employees fall ill at the same time. Moreover, banks started to test backup sites in case they can no longer access Wall Street or locations in central London.
Wall Street and the virus outbreak
Let’s have a look at the measures to learn more about the ongoing situation. As mentioned above, the virus outbreak is a severe challenge for Wall Street.
JPMorgan Chase made the decision to divide its sales and trading teams between separate locations. According to the email the bank sent to its employees, this is a precautionary measure. JPMorgan Chase wants to reduce the risk caused by the outbreak. Importantly, the famous company operates alternate sites in Brooklyn as well as New Jersey and Basingstoke, U.K.
For example, Bank of America decided to split its fixed income and equities trading teams starting from Monday. Bank of America will send some of its employees to a backup site in Stamford, Connecticut.
Another major bank also wants to alleviate the risk factors and decided to make a similar decision. Deutsche Bank divided some London operations and trading teams, and some employees are working from home.
Major banks want to make sure that no matter what will happen to Wall Street, they will be able to offer their services.