building a new headquarters in Midtown that will be the home base for up to 14,000 workers, will move to a more “open seating” arrangement.

Banks outside New York are also adapting: KeyCorp, which is based in Cleveland, hasn’t set a specific return-to-office date, but expects half its staff to eventually show up four or five days a week. Another 30 percent will probably come in for one to three days, with the ability to work from different offices. And 20 percent will work from home, albeit with in-person training and team-building events.

The new setup is “uncharted territory” that is necessary to keep the work force engaged, said Key’s chief executive, Chris Gorman. While he comes in every day and is a big believer in face-to-face meetings, Mr. Gorman said he had avoided a heavy-handed approach that could alienate employees and prompt them to look elsewhere.

Mr. Naratil, the UBS president, is also a believer in in-person gatherings — he still spends most of his week at UBS’s office in Weehawken, N.J. — but he said the great remote-work experiment of the last two years had debunked the myth that employees were less productive at home. In fact, he said, they are more productive.

The increasingly hybrid workplace has forced leaders to connect with their teams in new ways, like virtual happy hours, Mr. Naratil said. The rank and file have shown that they can rise to the occasion, and the onus is on bosses to attract workers back to physical spaces to generate new ideas and strengthen relationships.

Managers, he said, need to have a good answer when their employees ask the simple question: “Why should I be in the office?”

“It’s not ‘Because I told you to,’” he said. “That’s not the answer.”

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Fraud Is Flourishing on Zelle. The Banks Say It’s Not Their Problem.

Another Wells Fargo customer, Julia Gibson, lost $2,500 to a similar scam in October. After she reported the fraud to the bank, it gave her a provisional credit for the lost cash. But in January, the bank abruptly rescinded the credit, sending her balance to zero and incurring overdraft fees. The bank had decided the loss wasn’t fraudulent.

“What was so frustrating about this whole thing was that the customer service rep I talked to told me so many people had been experiencing this,” Ms. Gibson said.

In their appeals to Wells Fargo, Mr. Faunce and Ms. Gibson cited the consumer bureau’s rules about fraudulent losses, but the bank repeatedly rebuffed them.

“There are certain indicators that we look for in the investigation to let us know that there has indeed been fraud on the account,” Wells Fargo wrote to Mr. Faunce on Feb. 23. “During the investigation, we were not able to find any of those indicators present and denied the claim.”

After The Times contacted the bank, it refunded Ms. Gibson.

“We are committed to following all regulations governing transactions,” said Jim Seitz, a bank spokesman. “We are actively working to raise awareness of common scams to help prevent these heartbreaking incidents.” He declined to discuss specific customer cases.

Other victims of fraud trying to recoup their money from banks have had better luck when citing the law.

Ken Page-Romer, a psychotherapist and author who lives in Long Beach, N.Y., had $19,500 taken from his account in November after he received spoofed text alerts and calls that appeared to come from Citigroup phone numbers. The bank initially denied his claims. At the urging of his husband, Gregory, a financial adviser, Mr. Page-Romer wrote the bank a letter citing Regulation E, and sent copies to the police and banking regulators. Citi soon returned his stolen money.

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Wall Street Warms Up, Grudgingly, to Remote Work, Unthinkable Before Covid

In private, many senior bank executives tasked with raising attendance among their direct reports expressed irritation. They said it was unfair for highly paid employees to keep working from home while others — like bank tellers or building workers — dutifully come in every day. Salaries at investment banks in the New York area averaged $438,450 in 2020, up 7.8 percent from the previous year, according to data from the office of the state comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Two senior executives, who declined to be identified discussing personnel matters, said they might push out subordinates who are not willing to come back to the office regularly. Another manager expressed frustration about a worker who refused to show up at the office, citing concern about the virus — even though the person had recently traveled on vacation.

Executives “have not felt that they could put on pressure to get people back in the office — and those who have put on pressure have gotten real pushback,” said Ms. Wylde, of the Partnership for New York City. “Financial services is one of those industries that are hugely competitive for talent, so nobody wants to be the bad guy.” She expects that big financial firms will eventually drive workers back into the office by dangling pay and promotions.

For now, banks are resorting to coaxing and coddling.

Food trucks, free meals and snacks are occasionally on offer, as are complimentary Uber and Lyft rides. Dress codes have been relaxed. Major firms have adopted safety protocols such as on-site testing and mask mandates in common areas. Goldman, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup are requiring vaccinations for workers entering their offices, while Bank of America asked only inoculated staff to return after Labor Day. JPMorgan has not mandated vaccines for workers to return to the office.

At Citi, which asked employees to come back for at least two days a week starting in September, offices are about 70 percent full on the days with the highest traffic. Citi, whose chief executive, Jane Fraser, started her job in the middle of the pandemic, has hired shuttle buses so that employees coming into Midtown Manhattan from suburban homes can avoid taking the subway to the bank’s downtown offices. To allay concerns about rising crime in New York, at least one other firm has hired shuttle buses to ferry people a few blocks from Pennsylvania Station to offices in Midtown, Ms. Wylde said.

Remote working arrangements are also emerging as a key consideration for workers interviewing for new jobs, according to Alan Johnson, the managing director of Johnson Associates, a Wall Street compensation consultancy.

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Banks Were Allowed to Give People More Access to Savings in the Pandemic

Mike Schenk, chief economist for the Credit Union National Association, said he didn’t have comprehensive data on what credit unions were doing. But, he said, his calls to several credit unions found that “most don’t charge those fees anymore.” The association has long supported an elimination of the transaction cap as best for depositors, he said, and many credit unions routinely waive the fees anyway.

Nevertheless, some credit unions, including Alliant and PenFed, still cite the old federal six-withdrawal limit restriction on their websites. “If I exceed these limitations my account will be subject to an excessive transaction fee and may be closed,” PenFed’s general savings disclosure says.

Eliminating transaction caps may end up changing consumer behavior, said Simon Zhen, senior research analyst at MyBankTracker.com. Savings accounts typically offer higher rates than checking accounts because they are designed for money to remain there and grow. If the distinction between a savings account and a checking account is eliminated, consumers may have less reason to use checking accounts, and banks may have less incentive to offer better rates on savings accounts.

“If you take the limit away, what’s the difference between a saving account and a checking account?” Mr. Zhen asked.

Here are some questions and answers about savings account fees:

How can I avoid excessive savings withdrawal fees?

Set up text or email alerts to notify you when you are approaching the account’s limit. You can also consider using a line of credit, rather than linking your checking account to your savings account, to cover any overdrafts and reduce unnecessary transfers.

Also, savings withdrawal limits apply to the number of transactions, not the amount. If you know you’ll be needing some cash from your savings account, consider making one or two larger withdrawals instead of several smaller ones, said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com. (Separately, some accounts may limit the total amount of cash that can be withdrawn or transferred in a single transaction.)

What are current interest rates paid on savings accounts?

Even on “high yield” accounts at online banks, which typically pay higher rates because they have no branch network to maintain, annual percentage yields hover around 0.40 or 0.50 percent — far below what those accounts typically paid a year ago. Still, that’s better than the average savings account rate of 0.14 percent, according to DepositRates.

What if I need to withdraw money in excess of my account’s transaction limits?

Contact your bank to discuss your situation and ask for a waiver of the fee, Mr. McBride said. Banks are likely to be flexible, given the continued economic fallout of the pandemic.

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Citi Creates ‘Zoom-Free Fridays’ to Combat Covid-19 Pandemic Fatigue

Happy hours and “Casual Fridays,” team doughnuts and coffee trips have all fallen by the wayside in the last year, as one office tradition after another was curtailed by the reality of remote work.

Lawyers rolled into court from bed. Executives used one good shirt. Sweatpants ruled the day.

But Citigroup, one of the world’s largest banks, is trying to start a new end-of-week tradition: Zoom-free Fridays.

The bank’s new chief executive, Jane Fraser, announced the plan for “Zoom-free Fridays” in a memo sent to employees on Monday. Recognizing that workers have spent inordinate amounts of the past 12 months staring at video calls, Citi is encouraging its employees to take a step back from Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms for one day a week, she said.

“The blurring of lines between home and work and the relentlessness of the pandemic workday have taken a toll on our well-being,” Ms. Fraser wrote in the memo, which was seen by The New York Times.

according to S&P Global — also asked its 210,000 workers around the world to make sure they take their vacation time and designated Friday, May 28 a companywide holiday for all workers to be off and “reset.”

The bank outlined other steps to restore some semblance of work-life balance. It recommended employees stop scheduling calls outside of traditional working hours, and pledged that when employees can return to offices, a majority of its workers would be given the option to work from home up to two days a week.

“We are all feeling the weariness,” wrote Ms. Fraser, who took up her role as Citi’s chief executive this month and is the first woman to lead a major American bank. The pressure is high for Citi to turn itself around, after a banker’s mistake sent nearly $1 billion wired to the wrong people and the bank was handed a $400 million fine by federal regulators last year over long-running problems.

“Zoom fatigue” have emerged across industries and classrooms in the past year, as people confined to working from home faced schedules packed with virtual meetings, and found that their hours of on-camera work were often followed up by long video catch-ups with friends.

The widespread feeling of burnout prompted research from Stanford University trying to explain why video calls felt so draining.

In a peer-reviewed article published in the journal Technology, Mind and Behavior last month, Professor Jeremy Bailenson, the founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab, outlined several reasons video calls can be so much more exhausting than in-person conversations.

He found that the excessive eye contact involved in video calls, the unnatural situation of seeing ourselves on-screen and having to stay in the same fixed spot all contribute toward “Zoom fatigue.”

Video calls are also harder mental work for us, Professor Bailenson said in a news release, because we have to put in more effort to make and interpret nonverbal communications. “If you want to show someone that you are agreeing with them, you have to do an exaggerated nod or put your thumbs up,” he said. “That adds cognitive load as you’re using mental calories in order to communicate.”

Dr. Aaron Balick, a psychotherapist and the author of “The Psychodynamics of Social Networking,” said a key mistake companies made when setting up work-from-home conditions last year was to treat Zoom calls as the equivalent of face-to-face meetings. He said that they failed to consider the additional mental burden placed on workers and the downtime needed to process what was said between calls.

“They require different intellectual muscles,” Dr. Balick said in an interview on Wednesday, adding that Zoom calls needed to be treated as a “functionally different thing.”

working as much as two hours a day more than usual.

For Wall Street, which even before the pandemic had a notorious reputation for extreme hours, Citi’s efforts to introduce a more flexible approach to work will probably not go unnoticed.

Last week, a survey of 13 first-year Goldman Sachs analysts drew attention on social media, with the analysts claiming they worked an average of around 100 hours a week and felt they were victims of workplace abuse.

Goldman responded in a statement that “a year into Covid, people are understandably quite stretched.” It said it was “listening to their concerns and taking multiple steps to address them.”

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