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Proper Closing Times

"I'm not sure how this originated at my institution, but we close our safe deposit vault at 4:50 p.m. every night. Recently, a customer came in after the vault had been closed, to get in the safe deposit box before 5:00, and was told the vault had been closed. He stated that this policy should be posted. My question is, is it a requirement or a best practice that vaults should be closed well before 5:00 p.m. (or closing) from a security standpoint?"

Early in my career I ran into two reasons why this situation was happening:
1. The fear of a criminal opening a safe deposit box in order to remain inside after closing. This gives them the ability for a branch takeover after closing. We have not heard of a robbery like this recently, as modern camera systems and CIP policies may have reduced this likelihood.
2. The account holder taking over 30 minutes in their safe deposit box when they walk into the office seconds before close. Everyone has to wait for them to leave before anyone can go home. The only way to prevent delaying staff is to close this department before the branch closing.
Every financial institution has to decide how they want to handle this situation based on location, the area of the office where the safe department is located, and the criminal threat in the community. We do agree with your customer that the policy should be posted if you decide to close that area before the branch.

Learn more about Barry Thompson and Arvin Clar’s webinar The New Normal in Bank Robbery Awareness Three training programs in one webinar!

First published on 11/17/2019

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