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Barclays' London bankers & traders are being unexpectedly summoned back to the office too

Barclays' London bankers and traders who'd become acclimatised to spending a couple of days a week working from the Home Counties or outer suburbs have been unexpectedly afflicted by the bank's demand that they return to the office five days a week. 

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Bloomberg reported last week that Barclays was "weighing" whether to ask people back into the office five days a week in response to the FINRA rule that home offices for people supervising more than 10 employees need to be checked with home visits. It subsequently said that Barclays' dealmakers received a missive from heads of banking Cathal Deasy and Taylor Wright requesting their return five days a week in response to "new regulatory policies”, with some flexibility on offer as required. 

Given that FINRA's ruling only applies to the US, Barclays' London staff had expected leniency. Instead, multiple bankers and traders at the bank say they're being asked back five days a week, too. 

"FINRA doesn't mandate that UK people have to come back," says one banker in London, who admits he was in the office full-time anyway. "Until now it was at the manager's discretion, so time in the office varied by business," he adds. Another VP at Barclays in London confirmed that he's been recalled five days a week, too. He said that he and his colleagues don't feel "great" about this, as they were working from home or two days a week until now. 

Barclays declined to comment on UK's staff's return to the office. The recall is understood to coincide with the FINRA ruling, but not to be a direct result of it. One US trader at the bank says the rule is being applied differently to salespeople and traders: "Traders have no work from home anymore, but sales does," he claims. "It's hardest on the senior people who moved to the suburbs, and who now face long commutes," he adds. 

Another Barclays London says the bank had been "very respectful" of WFH until now: "A lot of the M&A guys were in two or three days a week," he claims. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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