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Opinion
Marcus Ashworth

Wall Street Banks Try to Be Nice to Their Staff

It’s good that investment banks are acknowledging the mental-health toll of extreme working. But this is an industry that always wants to find an edge. 

Overdoing it.

Overdoing it.

Photographer: DragonImages/iStockphoto

Your bosses really care about you, right? A glimmer of light is finally emerging from some banks, with Barclays Plc picking up the baton on being kinder to staff from Citigroup Inc.’s new boss Jane Fraser, who appears to believe that working smarter might be better than the work-til-you-drop culture that dominates Wall Street.

Barclays says analysts and associates shouldn’t be working between 9 p.m. on a Friday and 9 a.m. on a Sunday (unless really necessary), echoing a similar order from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. after a bunch of its own junior bankers complained about their pretty horrific working week. It’s good that finance firms are paying lip service to genuine mental-health worries. A couple of Canadian lenders, Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank, are offering an extra day off to address late-stage pandemic burnout, and who wouldn’t jump at that?