Citigroup mentioned Tuesday it can briefly shutter as much as 15% of its U.S. branches amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The third-largest U.S. lender stated it might also temporarily scale down branch hours and redeploy staff to ensure access to essential services.
Citi’s step follows other large banks that have started to scale down some retail operations in order to curb the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 while keeping vital banking services like accessing deposits available to customers.
JPMorgan Chase, the biggest U.S. bank, stated last week it might temporarily shut some 20% of its branch network, leaving it with approximately 4,000 locations.
Bank of America (BoA) said it has reduced working hours at its branches.
Banks have largely been exempted from government-mandated shutdowns across the nation because they’re considered a vital industry by the federal authorities, which means most bank branches, call centers and trading floors have remained open even as many companies sent their employees home.
On Tuesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin backed the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) designation of the financial services workforce as crucial infrastructure staff and stated employees who provide consumer access to banking and lending services ought to keep their normal schedules amid state and local shutdown orders.