The Punjab government has requested the State Bank of Pakistan to direct all banks, financial institutions, cash carrying agencies and exchange companies to follow government-issued guidelines to avoid getting robbed.
The request was sent after a recent surge in bank robberies and cash snatching incidents in the city. Two banks in Green Town were robbed on July 19. On August 1, a cash-delivering van crew member allegedly walked away with Rs20 million.
According to government guidelines, banks with cash up to Rs10 million should deploy three guards – one at the entrance, the second at a vantage point and the third on patrol duty. Banks keeping cash up to Rs2.5 million are required to deploy two armed guards.
Exchange companies with an average daily turnover of Rs5 million are required to deploy three guards (two inside and one at the gate) to keep an eye on visitors. Companies with turnover less than Rs5 million need to have two guards.
All branches are required to be equipped with a working alarm, which is concealed and secure. It is to be linked with the bank’s nearest branch and its head office. Safes, lockers, cabinets and DVR recording system for CCTV should be kept in the strong room, the guidelines say.
All cash needs to be stored in the strong room, which should have a steel-reinforced door with dual or triple controls. Banks with ATM machines, should also install CCTV and it should be functional round the clock.
During loading and unloading of cash, a security cordon should be formed by the bank guards and the cash van crew.
The government has also directed heads of all banks, financial institutions and cash handling agencies to hire security guards from licensed private security companies, registered under the Punjab Private Security Companies Act, 2004.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2012.