U.S. banks report reopening local offices closed by storm

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Published October 31, 2012

| Reuters

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

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.

Citigroup, as of mid-day Wednesday, had re-opened 55 percent of its nearly 300 branches in and around New York City. Some 70 percent of 1,500 automated teller machines in the area were working.

Wells Fargo said that nearly 90 percent of its branches in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut had re-opened.

Bank of America said in a 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.

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.

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 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, on opposite sides of 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 remain closed. The company said on Tuesday night that it would update information on access to those Greenwich Street buildings later this week.

A Citigroup spokeswoman said the company is using back-up offices to continue to do business.

Bank of America's 2 and 4 World Financial Center offices in lower Manhattan were closed, but it's One Bryant Park location in Midtown was open.

(Reporting by David Henry in San Francisco, Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York and Rick Rothacker in Charlotte, North Carolina; Editing by Gary Hill and Phil Berlowitz)

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