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CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Canadian banks reward frontline employees as coronavirus spreads (March 24)

(Corrects currency in paragraph five to US dollars from Canadian dollars in March 24 story. This version was earlier corrected to fix bank’s name in 7th paragraph to Scotiabank, not BMO)

March 24 (Reuters) – Canadian banks on Tuesday followed U.S. heavyweights in offering additional daily payments, one-time bonuses and extra paid days off to customer-service employees who are required to work in branches and call centres amid the coronavirus crisis.

Banks have largely been excluded from government-mandated shutdowns in many countries because they are considered an essential industry, meaning most bank branches, call centers, and trading floors have stayed open even as many firms send their employees home.

Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) and Bank of Montreal (BMO) said they would pay an additional C$50 per day to employees.

Bank of Nova Scotia will also give C$50 per day to employees, according to a memo seen by Reuters.

TD Bank Group’s full- and part-time employees working onsite will get a one-time award of up to $1,000, split over two payments of up to $500 each in April and May and up to two additional paid vacation or personal days, the bank said on Tuesday.

All CIBC employees are also eligible for up to 10 additional paid days off.

Scotiabank’s payment will run at least till the end of April, and a similar measure will soon be in place for eligible international employees, too, according to the memo.

Canada’s six largest banks have said they will temporarily limit operating hours and close some branches as part of measures to support social distancing and curb the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Large U.S banks are rewarding employees who are working in the frontline through the outbreak.

Citigroup Inc has said it would pay $1,000 to U.S. employees who make $60,000 or less in base salary, while JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, will give workers who are staffing branches and call centers through the pandemic a one-time $1,000 bonus. (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Nichola Saminather in Toronto; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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