Banks may face the music for banks’ ATM security failure

Alarmed by the recent heists at unguarded ATMs, the state home department has sprung into action. It has directed the police to check whether action can be taken against bank officials who fail to deploy security personnel at their cash-vending machine facilities, highly placed sources in the state police headquarters said.

Karnataka Chief Minister met top brass of banks and expressed concern over the increasing . Thereafter the department directed top police officials to check the system followed by banks in appointing security guards and safeguarding ATMs. “Banks’ apathy is affecting the police department in terms of energy and time,” sources quoted the home minister as saying. “We are supposed to file a report on security norms followed by banks and other financial institutions. Thereafter, we have been advised to hold meetings with bank officials, asking them to arrange ample security at ATMs. Also, we will direct the banks to obtain all details, including biometric samples of security guards,” sources said. Further, the police will make sure that details are also collected of security personnel appointed to guard vehicles carrying cash to ATMs and other bank branches. But most banks have outsourced security arrangements, making it difficult to make them liable for negligence.

Additional commissioner of police (law and order) Kamal Pant said in this regard: “Over 90% of the banks have outsourced security to private agencies. Bank officials at the top level should revise security policies, making local managers responsible for security arrangements. If this is done, police definitely can act against bank officials.” Police officials are also likely to brief the state level bankers committee on ATM security issues.

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