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A four person branch

Question: 
One of our branches is staffed with only three people. Our internal auditor makes it four on the days she works out of that office. Because of the low staffing (sometimes there may be only two due to illness or vacation), there is a mag lock installed on the door, where the employees can allow known customers entry. The internal auditor is now inquiring as to whether the other branches should have a policy in place in the event they are understaffed, as well. Hardly ever do we fall into a situation where another branch would fall below three people on the line, should we have a policy?"
Answer: 

Our view is simple - a branch needs to operate with four people. The reasons we give are exactly what you mentioned - vacations, sickness, trips to meetings or training. Leaving the branch with fewer staff makes it a target. To a criminal, a location with only two people is a more attractive target to rob. In the short-term, the mag locks are a great addition! Any financial institution considering operating a branch while short-staffed should consider an interactive teller machine. The argument of personal contact over a machine, does not take precedence over safety at this location.

Regarding policy and procedures, each institution has to make its own decision. If you put into writing a procedure that won't be followed, you find yourself at risk for a lawsuit if something does go wrong.
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First published on 11/24/2019

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