Wearing shades is not a prelude to a crime

Recently I visited a branch of a major financial institution that I deal with on a semi-regular basis. Without naming names, think of the colour of money. Evidently this bank thinks it can dictate to its customers what attire you’re permitted to wear as they pocket your cash.

courtesy image

While in line to see a teller, a security guard inside the bank that I’ve exchanged pleasantries with on a handful of occasions approached me and asked me to remove my sunglasses. He said it was a “new security policy” at the bank and pointed to the need for the in-branch video cameras to see me clearly. I refused and advised this gentleman to call the police if he suspected I was about to rob the bank.

Frankly, they’re the crooks, not me. But I digress.

Wearing sunglasses inside of a bank is not a prelude to committing a crime. The experience soured my opinion of this bank and this branch in particular while raising my ire to the point that you’re reading this blog. Thus I decided to contact this financial institution and seek clarity on this shiny new security policy by clicking on their “ask us” link on their corporate website.

After two business days, they responded: “In order to assist you further, we require your full name, mailing address and a contact phone number, so that we may properly locate you on the bank’s systems.”

It comes as little surprise to learn of a corporation attempting to take advantage of the people they claim to value and serve in these increasingly privacy degenerative times. Though a financial institution should employ cutting-edge security policies and technologies to prevent being bilked, there is also a customer service balance to be considered in that mix.

One is surrounded by video cameras, security guards, and every kind of digital security methodology imaginable whenever one steps foot inside of a bank. And yet, wearing a simple pair of sunglasses is all I would need to effectively conceal my identity in the event I wished to pull a heist? I find such a notion laughable.

As a Canadian citizen with rights (contrary to the current federal government’s efforts but that’s another story) and a “valued customer” of this financial institution, I take great exception to the assertion that it’s a practical security measure to order their customers to remove their sunglasses before entering the bank.

I didn’t bow down to this asinine policy on this occasion nor will I in the future. After all, it’s my money.

Regardless, a couple of days later I returned to the same branch while wearing my shades. I entered, nodded at the same security guard, and stood in line. No one asked me to remove my sunglasses.

Have you experienced a similar situation at a financial institution? What are your thoughts on this matter?

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About @LiamLahey

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