Mounting expenses, a hurdle for security in banks

Not all banks self-sufficient to spend on safety measures

With back to back theft cases reported at banks and ATMs, especially after the recent gold and cash heist at Kaveri Grameena Bank at Hirisave in Hassan district, customers are worried about the safety of their deposits, mostly gold valuables.

However, bank authorities rue about the varied rules that prevent them from taking up security measures in all their branches. Banks should either avail the services of armed guards, mostly ex-servicemen, on its own, or private security guards from recognised agencies. In case of private security agencies, banks should sign an agreement with them.

For ex-servicemen, the minimum salary fixed is Rs 16,000, while it is Rs 8,000 and above, for private guards. They will be working in three (eight hour) shifts. If the salaries of guards are taken into consideration, banks will have to spend not less than Rs 72,000 on monthly salaries (Rs 8.64 lakh per annum).

Banks with large transactions per day -- up to Rs 10 lakh, especially those having currency chest facility at the district and taluk headquarters, do not feel the pinch. However, it is an arduous task for those banks accounting for a lesser transaction between Rs two lakh and Rs three lakhs per month.

As a result, majority of the banks in rural areas solely depend on the unmanned security systems. Closed circuit TV cameras are installed in all the banks to keep a tab, both during business and non-business hours, while the burglar alarm system is in place since decades.

Lead Bank Manager K N Shivalingaiah told Deccan Herald that banks having cash retention units (currency chest) have been equipped with security apparatus, including the guards, while it is not the case with banks in rural parts having lesser business. In the city and town limits too, not all the banks have cash retention units.

Banks devoid of currency chest are liable to keep minimum cash of Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. If the requirement for cash exceeds the limit, then the banks will obtain the same from currency chests of their respective banks. In view of the customers’ interest, insurance cover is provided for the cash kept in the bank branches.

In Mysuru district, there are 453 bank branches, with majority of 237 located in Mysuru city alone with over 10 lakh customer base. Among 566 ATM counters in the district, 450 are in the city.
DH News Service

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