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JPMorgan Chase Implements Firm-Wide Hiring Freeze

JPMorgan imposes firm-wide hiring freeze as millions shelter in place to stanch the spread of the coronavirus; Bank of America gives trade-at-home a thumbs up.

JPMorgan Chase  (JPM) - Get Report is instituting a firm-wide hiring freeze as millions shelter in place to help stanch the spread of the coronavirus.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that corporate and investment banking, consumer and asset- and wealth-management groups have been asked by the bank to review job postings and pull listings for roles that aren’t immediately needed.

The hiring restrictions come as JPMorgan and other financial institutions face a confluence of pandemic-caused conflicting events: a global economic shutdown that has made financial markets more volatile than at any time in history, damaged portfolios and returns, created extreme economic uncertainty and strained internal resources.

Some JPMorgan operations such as home lending, where business has ramped up due to low interest rates, are excluded from the freeze, according to Bloomberg.

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JPMorgan said last week it would temporarily shut about 1,000 of its branches across the country - about 20% of them - and has shortened operating hours at those that remain open.

Meantime, traders at Bank of America  (BAC) - Get Report have been given permission to execute orders from home starting Tuesday, according to a memo sent to staff in its global markets division.

The memo replaces guidance that had barred traders from taking, executing or amending orders at home without prior management approval, according to the documents seen by the Financial Times.

Shares of JPMorgan were up 5.81% at $83.62 in trading on Tuesday. Shares of Bank of America were up 6.08% at $19.18.

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