Financial institutions keep services amid mass testing in Shanghai
Published: Mar 30, 2022 02:49 PM Updated: Mar 30, 2022 02:39 PM
A view of the Lujiazui area, a financial zone, in Shanghai Photo: VCG
A view of the Lujiazui area, a financial zone, in Shanghai Photo: VCG

From banks to exchanges, financial institutions in Shanghai are beefing up efforts to maintain services as the city copes with its most stringent antivirus measures to date.

Shanghai reported 326 confirmed and 5,656 asymptomatic domestically transmitted COVID19 cases on Wednesday, setting a new record.

The Chinese financial hub is carrying out a two-phased mass nucleic acid testing rollout and closed-off management in a bid to stamp out a fierce new wave of COVID-19. New measures have been initially implemented in the eastern side of Shanghai from Monday, an area which includes Pudong New Area, home to a hub of financial institutions. Mass testing is scheduled to shift to the western side of the city from Friday.

Employees from a number of banks in Pudong told the Global Times that they have taken measures to keep businesses running, at least partially, after the municipal government issued new control orders several days ago.

“We have some employees still working at the DBS Bank Tower (in Shanghai) and data center to keep transactions and submission of relevant forms online and uninterrupted. Currently, materials needed by our employees are all available,” an employee from the Singapore-based DBS Bank told the Global Times.

The BNP Paribas also said in a statement it sent to the Global Times on Wednesday that the bank had allocated staff to remain in office locations and other reserve sites (in Shanghai) to keep the bank’s business running normally, while IT staff have mobilized digital infrastructure to safeguard the safety of remote information.

“We have confidence in the resilience of China’s economy, and believe that the difficult time will pass,” the statement read.

The bank also stressed that its global market department has kept in close communication with the companies’ different sections to help meet clients’ service requirements. The bank completed four Asset-Backed Security deals in onshore markets during March.

The banks’ ability to keep services running is backed by continued operating of key financial infrastructure providers in Shanghai, which kicked start emergency response mechanism to maintain services after the closed-off management order was put in place, according to a report published by the People’s Bank of China, China’s central bank, on Wednesday.

For example, CIPS launched an emergency response program including “minimal on-site working” to keep business running. Currently, CIPS’ daily transaction volume is surging in a managed way, the report noted.

The China Foreign Exchange Trade System also opened remote internet and virtual networks to channel in nearly 200 key institutions, while keeping remote operation of maintenance work online, the PBC disclosed.

Global Times