July 16, 2009

TD Bank challenges NYPD over barriers

The New York Police Department's proposed law that all banks have bullet-proof barriers is being challenged by Canada's Toronto Dominion Bank.

TD has 73 branches in the city since acquiring New Jersey-based Commerce Bancorp last year for $8.5-billion, and is lobbying against the proposed security feature, the Globe and Mail reported Thursday.

TD Bank spokesman Neil Parmenter told the newspaper the clear barriers the NYPD wants to protect tellers from robbers have drawbacks.

There's no evidence at all that they're in any way an effective deterrent, Parmenter said. Much more troubling in our view is that they greatly enhance the risk of violence and potential harm to customers or employees, referring to the likelihood a thief would use a customer as a hostage.

TD Bank uses off-duty police officers as security guards at all of its branches, which are marketed as being customer-friendly and open, the report said.

The New York (State's) Bankers Association is also opposed to the proposed municipal bylaw, the Globe said.