Citi’s CEO says company is considering Connecticut and New Jersey offices to beat commute

Citigroup Chief Executive Jane Fraser said the investment bank could have something to help its employees save time and money as the country deals with inflation at 8.3% year-on-year.

“We really appreciate how expensive it is for all of our people to get around,” Fraser told the House Financial Services Committee hearing Wednesday. “We are very aware of this, as well as being flexible for working families and offering them more options. Additional facilities and spaces for them to work, whether at home or in New Jersey or Connecticut, are certainly things that we’ve been actively looking for in the tri-state area.

In the first of two congressional hearings, top US bank CEOs, including Fraser, JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon and Bank of America’s Brian Moynihan, were questioned by members of the House Financial Services Committee about a range of business issues with China and Russia, to customer purchases of firearms, to consumer health.

Fraser was responding to Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), who said he was working with New Jersey lawmakers to create tax incentives for New York companies to open regional hubs in New Jersey, which would allow workers who normally commute to New York until then. stay and work in New Jersey.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC is investing in 53 suburban office buildings along with Workspace Property Trust, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based commercial real estate agency, indicating a belief, at least by some, that suburban offices they will be a bigger part. of the “new normal” after the pandemic.

“We think the pandemic really accelerated change in suburban offices,” said Workspace founder and CEO Thomas Rizk. magazine.

Fraser’s comments come from several New York-based businessmen, including Goldman Sachs and the News from New Yorkhave told their workers to return to the office in a reversal of remote work policies since the start of the COVID pandemic.

A survey by the Partnership for New York city, a nonprofit organization for business leaders, found that as of mid-September, 49 percent of Manhattan office workers are currently at work on a weekday average, compared to 38% in April. It also found that the proportion of office workers who are fully remote fell from 28% in April to 16% in mid-September.

Additionally, after Labor Day, office provider WeWork’s weekly average of key card swipes at its 700 locations increased 70% compared to the same time last year.

“September looks more like the real return to the office that has been heralded for two and a half years,” WeWork real estate chief Peter Greenspan told Bloomberg, adding: “This data, for us at least, they indicate that this is a stronger return to the office than previous ones.”

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