Asian banks, buffeted by coronavirus, ramp up continuity plans
Across Asia, the coronavirus is hampering banks’ ability to run roadshows, and even hold meetings, and some business continuity plans are starting to kick in.
Workers pass a thermal scanner as part of the coronavirus outbreak precautions during a media preview at the Singapore Airshow on Saturday
Singapore is the latest country to feel the heat from the coronavirus.
On Monday, it announced its 45th confirmed case, the largest number of infections outside China.
The Lion City’s financial sector is adapting as best it can. Most banks have told staff to work from home if possible. UOB has postponed roadshows, is restricting business travel and has closed offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong.
Those working in the Marina Bay Financial Centre face a more visceral threat.
On Saturday, an employee in Tower 1 tested positive for the virus; when doors opened for business on Monday, bankers found the premises disinfected and industrial-quality temperature checkpoints in place.
Tower 1 is home to investment firm Wellington Management, Societe Generale and Standard Chartered, among others.
In a statement, Standard Chartered said it was ramping up medical screenings and in-office sterilization, and flagged up its “well-established business continuity plan (BCP)”.