The wirehouse firms — Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Wells Fargo — seem to be taking a similar approach to limiting the spread of the coronavirus, limiting travel but keeping doors open to clients.
At Morgan Stanley, clients still can visit with wealth managers in branch offices. Advisors, though, can work remotely as needed and do “virtual” meetings with clients.
The firm is restricting business travel except when necessary, and such trips must be approved by supervisors.
Merrill is limiting advisor travel in the U.S. to only essential client-facing meetings, while encouraging careful review and consideration of such gatherings.
If clients want to meet face to face with their advisors at branches, they can do so. But advisors can arrange virtual meetings, too, with the bank aiming to stop any spread of the virus.
The bank has not yet put in a policy regarding advisors working from home rather than in branches. Advisors who believe they may have been exposed can work from home, as can those who are at higher risk of getting very ill from the virus.
UBS has limited global travel and meetings. It is also asking those participating in any gatherings to practice social distancing, host such events virtually or postpone them.
Client meetings with UBS advisors, though, can take place as necessary.
“The health and safety of our employees and clients is always our main priority and we are ready to implement additional measures where appropriate. We continue to actively monitor the situation and remain in close contact with the relevant authorities,” the bank said in a statement.
Wells Fargo says it is limiting non-essential travel across the bank and that most of its employees “serve customers, care for critical operations or are in regulated capacities and therefore unable to work from home.”
For employees who can work remotely, the company says it gives them “a range of options to provide location flexibility.”
However, where there is concern about the spread of the virus, it is asking those who can work from home to “coordinate with their managers to determine appropriate work arrangements.”
— Check out Edward Jones Suspends Travel; Raymond James Limits Client Visits on ThinkAdvisor.