Although banks are exempt from Bay Area shelter-in-place orders, many are closing some branches or cutting hours, but also paying furloughed workers and providing bonuses to branch workers still on the job.
Wells Fargo and Chase have closed a significant number of branches in the Bay Area, more in the suburbs than in San Francisco it appears, although neither would say how many.
Bank of America said that all of its approximately 4,300 financial centers nationwide are open, but it has shortened hours to allow more time for cleaning. New hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, regular hours on Saturday.
Bank of America said that branch employees will be paid for their regular schedule, even if their hours are cut. It added that eligible employees (salaried and hourly working a full schedule) are getting an extra $200 per pay period, which is generally every two weeks.
Wells Fargo couldn’t say how many branches are closed, but spokesman Ruben Pulido said in an email, “the overwhelming majority of our branches are open at this time.” According to its branch locator, in Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda and Emeryville, eight branches are open, four are closed and three are open “by appointment.” On the mid-Peninsula, six out of 12 are listed as closed temporarily.
“We will keep our focus on branches that serve a high volume of customers and that are geographically dispersed to make them accessible to customers; branches will remain open near ones that have closed,” Pulido wrote.
Wells has also shortened standard branch hours to 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Customers can check Wells Fargo’s branch locator on its website for ATM locations and the status of branches.
Wells Fargo is giving about 170,000 employees worldwide a one-time cash award in April. U.S. employees with base compensation of less than $100,000 a year who were employed by Wells Fargo all of last year will get $600 if they’re full-time and $300 if they’re part-time, both before taxes.
Frontline employees serving customers and other employees will get an extra payment — $200 per pay period for five pay periods — if their base pay is less than $100,000. This includes those working in branches, operations, and technology and employee support. Workers are paid every two weeks. Wells is also providing employees with children 13 and younger extra money for childcare if they make less than $100,000 and has provided other benefits for employees directly impacted by the virus.
Wells is paying branch employees for their normal standard hours even if their work hours are reduced, Pulido said.
Chase wouldn’t say how many branches are closing because “things have been fluid,” but “in most cases there’s an open branch a short walk or drive from branches that are temporarily closed,” spokesman Erich Timmerman said in an email. Branches with a drive-up window or glass partition teller window are among those left open.
Based on a spot check of Chase’s branch locator, only five out of 40 branches in San Francisco are closed, and only one out of 10 in Oakland. But on the Peninsula, 17 out of 25 are closed temporarily. Open branches have reduced their hours to between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Chase also announced that “all full- or part-time employees whose job requires them to continue working on site and who have a total annual cash compensation of less than $60,000 or who are consumer banking branch-based employees” will get a $1,000 bonus in two installments in April and May.
Other banks in the Bay Area are also closing some branches and adjusting hours, so customers should check before they make a trip. Most ATMs are still open and being serviced.