Bank Bans Cell Phones
Not because they’re annoying, but as a security measure:
Cell phones have been banned inside the five branches of the First National Bank in the Chicago area, to enhance security.
Even using a cell phone in the bank’s lobby may result in the person being asked to leave the premises.
“We ban cell phone use in the lobby because you don’t know what people are doing,” Ralph Oster, a senior vice president, told the Chicago Tribune. Cell phone cameras are also a worry.
Oster said there have been holdups in which bandits were on the phone with lookouts outside while committing bank robberies.
“You’re trying to stop that communication,” he says.
Banks in Mexico City banned call phones in May and Citizens Financial Bank of Munster, Ind., asks customers to turn off their cell phones.
West Suburban Bank, based in Lombard, Ill., barred customers wearing hats in January but has not moved to silence cell phones.
This is just plain dumb. It’s easy to get around the ban: a Bluetooth earpiece is inconspicuous enough. Or a couple of earbuds that look like an iPod. Or an SMS device. It only has to work at the beginning. After all, once you start actually robbing the bank, a ban isn’t going to deter you from using your cell phone.