HSBC Temporarily Closes Main Office

HSBC Temporarily Closes Main Office In Hong Kong

HONG KONG – HSBC has temporarily closed its main office in the Chinese territory along 1 Queen’s Road Central after 3 people working there were discovered to have been infected with COVID-19, according to a report by Bloomberg on Tuesday evening (16 March, SGT) that was updated on the following day.

Given that civil servants wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) have started guarding the property’s entrances on early Wednesday, the bank’s employees and clients won’t be able to access HSBC’s largest branch in Hong Kong for the meantime. Moreover, a notice posted on the door instructed customers to go to another outlet.

“It is our understanding that HSBC Main Building (HMB) can return to normal business when virus testing of colleagues and deep cleaning of the facility are complete.” However, the exact date when it will be allowed to reopen is not yet known, stated a memo distributed by the bank on Wednesday.

Moreover, Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection announced that staff and workers who stayed at the property for over 2 hours from 3 to 16 March will be required to get tested by Friday (19 March 2021).

Designed by famous architect Norman Foster, HSBC’s landmark building is strategically located within Central. While it’s currently not known how many of the bank’s employees were affected, the financial institution employs about 30,000 workers in the Chinese territory.

A spokesperson for the bank revealed that they are acting in accordance with the government’s health and safety guidelines, and are taking the necessary steps to reopen as soon as possible.

“For banking services, we have well-developed contingency measures that ensure our services and critical processes continue to be maintained,” she explained.

Earlier this week, it was reported that 29 office buildings in Hong Kong were served with compulsory testing notices. The authorities carried out this move after the majority of new cases during the weekend were connected to Ursus Fitness, a gym patronised by a tightly-knit community of expatriates, who work for multinational banks and whose kids attend pricey international schools.

As of Tuesday, there were a total of 127 cases originating from Ursus Fitness after 5 more were added, and the government has quarantined almost 860 people who had close contact with the gym-goers.

Following the emergence of Ursus Fitness outbreak, which is the 2nd biggest cluster discovered in the city, financial firms including Goldman Sachs have instructed more staff to work remotely from home. UBS Group also followed suit after a worker tested positive for COVID-19.

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