Given the ease with which robberies have been carried out at some local banks, industry leaders took the decision to convene last week, to iron out a number of issues, while also seeking to forge a collaborative plan that would incorporate new measures to halt the assaults that seem to have become a casual activity, for criminal elements.
This is according to a source at St Kitts- Nevis- Anguilla National Bank who pointed put that the meeting was a welcomed initiative that should produce workable security and safety solutions.
The source disclosed that addressing the issue of bank robberies is of paramount importance, taking into consideration the safety and welfare of bank employees. One area of great concern has been the fact that private security officers, who are contracted to protect the banks, are mostly not armed with firearms.
The source said that the meeting also benefitted from the participation of representatives from the police, who are expected to aid significantly in ensuring that the draft plan of action by the Bankers Association is put in place. “We cannot do anything without the police as they are the experts in addressing the issue of security and that is why I think that employees in the banks will feel some relief, that an effective approach was taken in having such a meeting,” the source noted.
Quizzed on where the meeting was held, the source refused to disclose the location, stressing that what is of critical importance, are the decisions coming out of the meeting. According to the source those present at the meeting included bankers and the heads of banking institutions.
The source indicated that a number of employees, who work at various banks in the federation, have expressed their concerns about their personal safety, with some wondering if their institution would be the next target of the criminals.
Recent months have seen a spate of attempted robberies and some successful hauls from local banks.
In July, five armed masked men attempted to rob the Royal Bank of Canada, situated at the S.L. Horsford Shopping Complex, on the Wellington Road.
Then less than six weeks after, another bank robbery took place at the Sandy Point Branch of the St. Kitts- Nevis -Anguilla National Bank. The attacker was a masked gunman.
Attempts by this media house to garner a comment from the Bankers Association and police sources, proved futile.