Triangle’s banking sector grows as employees await an ambiguous return to office

Triangle’s banking sector grows as employees await an ambiguous return to office

2021-04-13T18:07:33+00:00April 13th, 2021|Banking & Finance, Economy, Raleigh-Durham|

Bank & Trust

Writer: Catie Schwartzman

2 min read April 2021 — The Triangle region is proving favorable for the banking industry as financial giants see the appeal of proximity to tech. The region’s newest arrival is Boston financial giant Fidelity, which is plotting one of its largest campuses in Raleigh-Durham. That addition will bring 225 regional jobs. 

Fidelity already has about 3,600 employees in the Triangle, according to the Triangle Business Journal, and Brooke Forbes, the firm’s CIO and head of technology for personal investing, explained the potential the region has for them.

“We’re pretty excited,” Forbes said. “That area’s been high growth for us, candidly, over the last five to seven years. … We have locations all over the country, but this particular location is really a central hub for us in hiring for our technology division.”

As digital technology becomes increasingly prevalent due to COVID-19 remote work, the demand for technology positions within banking alone has shot up. For customer-focused industries like banking, investing in technology is important for maintaining consumer relationships. Fidelity itself is taking on 4,000 new hires nationwide to meet “unprecedented customer engagement,” according to the Triangle Business Journal. 

The new positions range from technologists to client-facing associates. However, with the migration to remote work, when will these new hires get to set foot in an office?

For Wells Fargo, the answer is not until fall at the earliest. CEO Charlie Scharf and COO Scott Powell signed a memo that pushed the return-to-office date to after Labor Day for its employees, including those based in its North Carolina office. Wells Fargo employs about 27,000 people in Charlotte. 

“We are encouraged by the significant increase in vaccination availability,” the memo said. “We are optimistic that the external environment will support a return in September, but our final decision will be based on the science.”

North Carolina-based Truist and Bank of America have planned phased transitions back into the office. Truist has a date set for June 1, while Bank of America said it will give 30 days notice when it settles on a date. Dates are at the mercy of the COVID-19 pandemic. About half of Truist’s employees are working from home, while Bank of America has 180,000 employees doing so. 

Fidelity too is strategizing its return back to the office to the best of its abilities.

“We’re actively designing our strategies as we speak,” Forbes said to the Triangle Business Journal. 

Excitement is still palpable for Fidelity’s new recruiting though, especially for its necessary digital advice and planning solution team.

“We are a company, at heart, that is incredibly customer-obsessed, and every single associate we talk to, regardless of level of leadership, we all share a real passion for serving our clients in all demographics and backgrounds,” Forbes said to the Triangle Business Journal. “We really, every day, come in and as a part of that mission, we want to be there for our customers in the moments that matter.”

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