COVID Mandates Annoy Advisors; Big Banks Keep Sending Mixed Signals

COVID-19 quickly became a politically charged topic as it found it’s way into every corner of our lives. We aren’t here to talk politics, but rather the realities faced by advisors and unnecessary mandates being enforced at their places of employment.

At different firms across Wall Street there are varying degrees of mandates and penalties for advisors that have chosen not to get the proverbial ‘jab’ for whatever reason. On top of those arbitrary rules, you also have firms forcing advisors to spend certain amounts of time in the office, no matter if it is meaningful to their business and growth.

Take a look at the mixed signals banks have put in front of advisors with regards to COVID-19:

If you are unvaccinated you could be fired (**since been backed off of). If you are unvaccinated you are disallowed to meet in-person with clients. If you are vaccinated, you have to be in the office a minimum of three days per week. 

Vaccination status may indirectly affect bonuses and promotions.

Each of the above responses to COVID-19 are dramatic overreaches that don’t match even the latest (flawed) CDC guidelines. 

I think that one could make the case that these guidelines are coming from bank legal departments rather than directly connected to any sort of science. And, as per usual, the mandates are putting undo burdens on advisors unnecessarily.

 We continue to hear significantly grumbling from advisors with respect to not just a new normal here – but rather banks and brokerages taking advantage of a crisis to control advisors. Given that the very nature of being a financial advisor is largely entrepreneurial, the likes of J.P. Morgan and Merrill Lynch (Bank of America) should back off.

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