CIBC, BMO delay return to office to June end on COVID-19 fears

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March 1 (Reuters) - Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Bank of Montreal have postponed employees' return to the office to June end, derailing an earlier plan to get them back by April.

In an internal memo seen by Reuters, CIBC said on Monday the majority of its employees who are currently working remotely will continue to do so until at least the end of June, as COVID-19 cases remain high in Canada.

So far under 3% of the country's population has been inoculated, putting Canada behind many developed nations in its vaccination drive.

Bank of Montreal is also "no longer working towards an April timeframe for returning to the office" and has postponed it, a spokesperson for the bank said.

CIBC's employees would be given at least four weeks' notice before they are asked to return to office, Sandy Sharman, senior executive vice-president and group head of people, culture and brand, said in the memo.

The bank is also planning to survey staff this week to refine its back-to-office plans, according to the memo.

In February, CIBC, the fifth-largest lender of Canada, also promised employees paid time-off to get vaccinated.

Both the banks in November allowed employees to continue working remotely at least till April-end, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)