Banks report reopening local offices closed by storm

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Published October 31, 2012

| Reuters

JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co said on Wednesday they have reopened more than half of the branches and brokerage offices that were closed as Hurricane Sandy battered the East Coast early this week.

At least 134 of the 183 Morgan Stanley brokerage offices that were closed had reopened by mid-morning, the company said. The offices that remained closed either lacked electricity or were inaccessible due to flooding or other damage. Most of the closed offices were in New Jersey and New York, with some in Connecticut.

JPMorgan said it had reopened 587 Chase branches, about 55 percent of the total in the states of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Nearly 60 percent of the New York City-based bank's 3,200 automated teller machines in the area were running.

Wells Fargo said 106 of 156 branches in New York and Connecticut were open. Some offices in Manhattan, Long Island and coastal Connecticut remained closed.

Bank of America said in statement that operations from Virginia to Massachusetts that were hit by the storm were "returning to business as usual." The bank did not say how many of its offices were still closed.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs Group Inc opened both its headquarters in Lower Manhattan and its office across the river at 30 Hudson Street in Jersey City, New Jersey on Wednesday.

Goldman offices in Princeton, New Jersey, and Greenwich, Connecticut, were still open for some employees, while others worked remotely. Staff in the securities division - especially those who live in Manhattan - generally came into the office, though the lack of public transportation and traffic made commutes longer than usual.

Goldman's two main buildings in the New York area, which bookend the Hudson River, sustained some flooding but no serious damage from the hurricane, a representative said.

Citigroup's Lower Manhattan buildings used for trading and investment banking remained closed. The company said on Tuesday night that it would update information on access to those Greenwich Street buildings later this week. (Reporting by David Henry in San Francisco, Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York and Rick Rothacker in Charlotte, North Carolina.)

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