Security staff at most outlets handling cash: Banks

A Certis Cisco security guard at the StanChart branch in Holland Village.
A Certis Cisco security guard at the StanChart branch in Holland Village. PHOTO: ST FILE

Amid concerns about the security at banks here following a bank robbery in Holland Village last week, local banks say they have security staff at most branches that handle cash transactions.

A DBS Bank spokesman said about 80 DBS and POSB branches handle cash transactions, and all of them deploy security personnel.

At United Overseas Bank, a spokesman said all 61 of its branches in Singapore have security personnel present. A spokesman for OCBC Bank said that out of its 47 branches around Singapore, 46 handle cash transactions and all of these engage trained guards from Certis Cisco.

Following the robbery last Thursday at a Standard Chartered Bank outlet at Holland Village, in which a Caucasian man escaped with $30,000, questions have been raised about security measures at banks here. The StanChart branch had no security guard when the robbery took place.

Last Saturday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore urged banks to reassess their security measures in the light of the robbery.

A spokesman for StanChart said last Saturday that the bank is "always reviewing our security measures and has taken immediate actions to further enhance them".

StanChart now has a security guard at its Holland Village branch.

A Citibank branch in Holland Village, which also did not deploy a security guard previously, had a guard stationed there yesterday.

When asked if all its branches have guards, a spokesman for Citibank said all of its eight full-service branches will have security guards present, but declined to reveal how many have guards deployed now.

Security agencies reiterated that it is important to have physical security presence to complement security and surveillance technology, such as closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.

Regal Security Services general manager Mark Leong said: "In the case of alarm activation, you need someone present to respond. Physical presence is deterrence."

He added: "The CCTV (cameras) can't react to a crime happening, but they are very useful in capturing the sequences and to recognise the perpetrator of the crime."

Yesterday, customers at StanChart's Holland Village branch said they wished to see a greater security presence at the branch.

Mr Aaron Teo, 35, said: "We need to stop taking for granted that there are a lot of people in the area, or that Singapore is very safe."

Otherwise, Singaporeans would "become complacent, but crime can happen", he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2016, with the headline 'Security staff at most outlets handling cash: Banks'. Print Edition | Subscribe