Thanks to a recent spate of crimes, and the difficulty in the maintenance of ATM vestibules, some companies have been forced to reduce 24/7 access to these devices.
Banks have been taking steps to reduce the number of attacks and address the makeshift shelters often seen in branch vestibules. Just two days prior to the latest incident of violence at Chase, the company announced on Twitter that it had closed many of its vestibules during the overnight hours for safety purposes.
“Our apologies,” the bank’s customer service department tweeted. “We decide[d] to close several ATM vestibules at 5PM or 6PM, aligning the hours of service to that of the normal branch hours, due to rising crime and vagrancy that occurred in these previously 24/7 vestibules.”
Chase is not alone in closing its vestibules overnight. Citizens Bank, which acquired 80 HSBC bank branches last year, has shut down its ATM vestibules at many of its locations at night. Meanwhile, Santander Bank has ATMs in vestibules not accessible after 10 p.m., while City National Bank has reportedly adopted a similar policy.
“The safety and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues is a top concern,” said Eleni Garbis, a spokesperson for Citizens Bank. “Like a number of other banks, we have temporarily closed some ATM vestibules overnight at certain New York City branch locations where we have seen repeat activity that could present a potentially dangerous situation for our customers or colleagues.”
Meanwhile, Chase said that it is constantly reviewing its policy and monitoring the situation: “We review our ATM hours on a case-by-case basis and for a variety of reasons may decide to temporarily close some overnight.”
Chase did not disclose how many ATM vestibules it has closed at night, although there are many throughout the five boroughs that are shut after 10 p.m. nightly. These include locations in Brooklyn, such as in Brooklyn Heights, and Queens, such as in Long Island City.
In addition to the episodes of violence that have sparked this decision, there had already been complaints by customers regarding maintenance issues in vestibules.
One man tweeted: “This is the @Chase ATM lobby in Times Square at 8 a.m. 17 Jan, 2023,” with photos of the vestibule that had been trashed. “This is a financial institution with $3.31 trillion in assets. It seems like they could do better than this.”
David Tente, president of the ATM Security Association responded that, “We’re seeing shorter [ATM] hours at a lot of banks” and added that banks are no longer constructing ATMs with vestibules like they did in the past, despite the customer benefits such as protection from the winter elements.
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