Citi CEO says company is considering offices in Connecticut and New Jersey to combat commute

Citigroup’s chief executive, Jane Fraser, said the investment bank may have something in the works to help its employees save time and money as the country faces 8.3% inflation per year.

“We really appreciate how expensive it is to commute for all of our people,” Fraser said Wednesday in Hearing of the House Financial Services Committee. “We’re very thoughtful about that, as well as flexibility for working families, and giving them more options. The more facilities and places for them to work, whether at home or in New Jersey or Connecticut, certainly things we are actively looking at in the Tri-State area.

In the first of two congressional hearings, major 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 on a variety of topics from business with China and Russia, on customer arms purchases, on consumer health.

Fraser responded to Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), who said he is working with New Jersey lawmakers to create tax incentives for New York businesses to open regional hubs in New Jersey—which would allow workers who usually commutes to New York until then. stay and work in New Jersey.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC has invested in 53 suburban office buildings alongside Workspace Property Trust, a commercial real-estate agency based in Boca Raton, Fla. the “new normal” after the pandemic.

“We believe that the pandemic has accelerated the shift to suburban offices,” Workspace founder and CEO Thomas Rizk told Journal.

Fraser’s comments come as several New York-based employers, such as Goldman Sachs and the New York Timestold their workers to return to the office in a change from remote work policies since the start of the COVID pandemic.

A survey by the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit membership organization for business leaders, found that, in mid-September, 49% of Manhattan office workers were currently at work for an average of weekday, up from 38% in April. In addition, it found that the share of office workers who were completely remote fell from 28% in April to 16% in mid-September.

Additionally, after Labor Day, office provider WeWork’s weekly average keycard swipes at its 700 locations increased 70% from the same time last year.

“September feels more like the real return to the office that has been touted for two and a half years now,” WeWork’s head of real estate Peter Greenspan told Bloomberg, added, “this data, at least to us, indicates that this is a stronger return to office than the previous ones.”

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