Finance

Citigroup tells London staff to work from home after power cut hits Canary Wharf

Citigroup told its 9,000 employees in Canary Wharf to work from home on 30 March after a widespread power cut in the financial district on 29 March forced many of its bankers offline for hours.

The US bank told London staff that it expects “access to power in and around Canary Wharf to be compromised tomorrow” and advised employees to work from home as “we further test our systems”, according to an internal memo from Citi’s UK boss James Bardrick seen by Financial News.

The bank added that its plans could change overnight.

A fire at an electrical substation in east London caused widespread power outages in the area, with parts of Canary Wharf — the heart of London’s financial district — affected by the cuts.

However, Citigroup has been one of the only major banks to be hit by the outage, which prompted a number of its employees to go home on 29 March.

A number of divisions were sent home from around 4pm on 29 March after parts of the building were left without power for over an hour, two staff members told Financial News.

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At Credit Suisse, which has its UK headquarters in nearby Cabot Square, its office experienced a short outage, but was backed up by a secondary power source.

Morgan Stanley also has an office for its investment management division in Cabot Square, but its back-up generator prevented any material disruption.

JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley have their main UK headquarters on Bank Street in Canary Wharf, and the offices were not affected by the power outage.

Network operator UK Power Networks has a live map of where the power outages are hitting London, showing multiple current incidents in the Canary Wharf area at the time of writing.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Paul Clarke

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