ING bank tightens security in Liege
11 April 2006
BRUSSELS – The ING bank has officially introduced a new security measure at its branches in the city of Liège to combat a string of recent robberies.
ING Security Director Daniel Heuzel said on Tuesday both employees and the branch manager will no longer be supplied with an access key to the funds.
The new security measure will be applied at various branches, which are to be identified in local newspapers.
“Money flows from now on will be padlocked and for the personnel to have access they will have to request authorisation, which will be given only when it is certain that the situation is secure,” Heuzel said.
The new scheme follows seven bank robberies in Belgium in the past seven weeks.
The latest style of robbery involves early-morning raids on bank personnel and ‘tiger-kidnappings’, in which pressure is put on bank staff to hand over money by threats of violence, often at gunpoint, against a colleague or family member.
In the absence of customers, the robbers find it easier to make good their escape.
ING did not wish to comment further on the new system, but the director of the Engis branch – which fell victim to such a raid on 4 April – said he already felt safer.
“Now we have less cash in the branch. We have been waiting for these new rules for some time – last week’s robbery was the final straw,” he said.
“Of course, there is always a risk of a robbery, but I believe these new measures offer a chance to greatly reduce such risks.”
If the new system proves effective, ING plans to extend it nationwide.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news