The head of the National Bank is worried about downtown Montreal

National Bank chief worried about downtown Montreal

National Bank President and CEO Laurent Ferreira , said he was worried about downtown Montreal on Friday, when speaking at the annual meeting of shareholders of the financial institution.

Mr. Ferreira called on members of the business community “to commit to bringing downtown Montreal to life”, referring to “a shared responsibility”, according to La Presse.

The leader urged business workers to reconnect with Montreal offices to allow downtown to regain its pre-pandemic vibrancy. “Telecommuting, we will tell each other, is a white-collar business,” he dropped.

Laurent Ferreira is in favor of a readjustment of the current working model where, in many cases, working from home prevails. Arguing that the survival of small businesses and restaurants in the city center is at stake, he estimates that employees should return “to the city center to work an average of 80% of the time”.

“If you're hanging around in the 30-40% range, I don't believe smaller merchants can survive on that kind of traffic,” he argued.

Currently, National Bank employees must spend at least 40% of their working time face-to-face. Mr. Ferreira would like to see this percentage increase and invites his employees to go to the offices more.

Last November, the President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM) expressed similar concerns about the lack of excitement in the downtown area.

“While the entire economy of the metro area has found its way back to normal, our downtown still seems to be suffering from a kind of “long COVID,” he had said. , during the CCMM Strategic Forum, at New City Gas.

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