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Omicron hits the brokerage business

Covid-based absenteeism is sweeping through the brokerage industry along with other branches of the economy.

Friday, March 4th 2022, 12:59PM

by Eric Frykberg

As of Thursday, there were 146,779 cases of Covid in New Zealand, with the infection rate soaring in the past few days.

One large brokerage to feel the impact is Auckland's Squirrel company.

“We've got about 15 staff down at the moment, that's about 20% of our team,” said the company's head, John Bolton.

“They would either be down with Covid or they have direct family that have Covid, so they are in lockdown.

“It's going through us quite rapidly.”

Bolton said none of these people had serious symptoms and he hoped this would remain the case. His team were coping, a few people were still working from offices because they did not have their houses set up for remote working. But most staff were working from home – some had been doing so before the latest outbreak and would probably be doing so for some time to come.

Another company to feel the impact of Omicron is one of the Auckland branches of Loan Market.

“One person got sick and now we have three sick, so we have just shut the office for two weeks,” said Bruce Patten who runs a big business in Auckland's eastern suburbs.

Patten said the big thing for the industry over the next month or two was how many people got the disease, how it affected business, how many people would go to open homes and how much the industry would quieten down.

In the meantime, his firm was able to keep on doing business from home, and in fact some staff had been doing that even before the latest upsurge.

Katrina Shanks of Financial Advice NZ said despite the absences, the industry was able to keep going, due to remote working. And for others, she had this advice.

“Wash your hands, wear your mask, do the RAT test if you are not feeling well.

“If you have got clients who are nervous about meeting you, you can say you are doing RAT tests frequently, and use that as a tool to instil confidence in your clients.”

Financial Services Federation chief executive Lyn McMorran said member companies were juggling staff, or splitting teams into 'bubbles' to minimise the risk of the disease spreading. Other staff were working from home.

She added the problem was serious for branches that needed to have face to face contact with the public but had to maintain minimum staffing numbers for security reasons.

Tags: Covid-19

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Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA 5.35 4.49 5.25 5.55
ANZ 5.54 5.15 5.85 6.15
ANZ Blueprint to Build 2.78 - - -
ANZ Special - 4.55 5.25 5.55
ASB Bank 5.35 4.49 5.25 5.55
Avanti Finance 5.45 - - -
Basecorp Finance 6.45 - - -
Bluestone 5.29 7.49 7.59 -
BNZ - Classic - 4.55 5.25 5.45
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.55 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 5.55 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 5.55 5.35 5.94 5.99
BNZ - TotalMoney 5.55 - - -
CFML Loans ▲6.45 - - -
China Construction Bank 5.50 5.40 6.14 6.40
China Construction Bank Special - 4.45 5.19 5.45
Credit Union Auckland 5.95 - - -
First Credit Union Special 5.85 4.70 5.20 -
Heartland Bank - Online 4.00 3.85 4.70 4.84
Heretaunga Building Society 5.95 4.80 5.50 -
HSBC Premier 5.49 4.39 5.15 5.39
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 5.25 4.29 5.09 5.35
Kainga Ora 5.43 4.57 5.58 5.85
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - 2.25 - -
Kiwibank 5.00 5.55 6.19 6.39
Kiwibank - Offset 5.00 - - -
Kiwibank Special 5.00 4.55 5.19 5.39
Liberty 4.84 - - -
Nelson Building Society 5.95 4.95 5.85 -
Pepper Essential 3.44 - - -
Resimac 4.59 5.60 6.16 6.29
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
SBS Bank 5.29 4.69 5.35 5.49
SBS Bank Special - 4.19 4.85 4.99
Select Home Loans 4.09 4.29 4.86 5.09
The Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - ▲4.19 - -
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 5.45 ▲4.29 5.19 5.45
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 5.45 ▲4.79 5.69 5.95
TSB Bank 5.59 5.14 ▼5.79 6.15
TSB Special 4.79 4.34 ▼4.99 5.35
Unity 5.65 4.80 5.50 -
Wairarapa Building Society 5.24 4.55 5.20 -
Westpac 5.54 5.09 5.79 6.09
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Westpac - Offset 5.54 - - -
Westpac Special - 4.49 5.19 5.49
Median 5.45 4.55 5.25 5.52

Last updated: 19 May 2022 10:42am

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