Morgan Stanley is offering to reimburse its Hong Kong employees as much as HK$40,000 ($5,100) to compensate for quarantine costs brought on by the financial hub’s zero-Covid strategy.
The one-time reimbursement will be available to all Hong Kong permanent employees when they return from a personal trip to visit immediate family members, including spouses, domestic partners, children, parents and grandparents, the US bank said in a memo.
The finance industry has been ratcheting up pressure on Hong Kong to ease its quarantine rules and abandon its zero-Covid policy amid concern it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit and retain talent. A survey found almost half of major international banks and asset managers are contemplating moving staff or functions out of the city.
JPMorgan Chase & Co has also rolled out a plan to reimburse most Hong Kong employees a similar amount to cover quarantine. Hong Kong’s strict rules, which has served the city well in keeping cases and deaths low, force people returning to spend as many as three weeks in hotel quarantine.
A stay at Hong Kong’s designated quarantine hotel can cost HK$500 ($64) to HK$3,630 a night for a non-suite room.
Morgan Stanley’s reimbursement program will be in effect from December 1, 2021 to November 30, 2022, according to the memo.