HSBC evacuates London office after coronavirus scare

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HSBC Holdings Plc evacuated parts of its Canary Wharf office in London on Thursday after a coronavirus scare.

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The U.K. bank has cleared its research department, according to people familiar with the matter, after an analyst was believed to have contracted Covid-19.

If confirmed, it would mark the first case of the respiratory illness at a major financial institution in the U.K. and come in the same week that professional services firm Deloitte said a member of its London team was suffering from the virus.


HSBC employs around 40,000 people in the U.K., with roughly a quarter based at its offices in London's docklands. The bank's research division sits on the 10th floor of its Canary Wharf skyscraper and works closely with its traders on the fourth to advise institutional clients on the buying and selling of stocks and bonds.

The novel coronavirus emerged in China in late 2019 and has since spread across the globe infecting more than 95,000 people and killing around 3,280. An outbreak in Europe has forced banks to invoke restrictions and bans on travel to areas worst affected by the virus — notably Asia, where HSBC has a huge presence.

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