The wirehouse firms — Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Wells Fargo — are giving financial advisors more flexibility in terms of working from home in response to the need to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
As these employee advisors and their colleagues are part of a bank and thus are considered providers of “essential services,” branches remain open — though in some cases with more limited staff.
Similar to its approach last week, Morgan Stanley is letting clients visit with advisors in branch offices as needed. Advisors, though, can work remotely as needed and do “virtual” meetings with clients.
While Bank of America Merrill advisors have been shifting to remote work arrangements for the past weeks, they were formally asked Wednesday to do so by the end of this week.
The bank, though, is keeping its offices open — including those in San Francisco and New York, where most businesses have closed due to the pandemic.
Wells Fargo Advisors’ offices are also open. But the bank is “not encouraging in-person meetings right now,” it said in a statement, “[and] our advisors are just a phone call away if clients have any questions or want to discuss their investments.”