Cyprus Hires 180 British Security Guards To 'Control' Bank Re-Opening

Tyler Durden's picture

The security firm that became infamous for its Olympics snafu is responsible for the 'safety' of Cypriot banks and their money as they prepare to open tomorrow. G4S is the world's largest security-provider, and has been helping banks in the last week by sending out teams (with police protection) to restock ATMs. However, an additional 180 staff have been hired to, "be based outside branches... to control queues," adding (rather optimistically), "if there are any queues." It seems the extra security is, "basically it is to make the banking people feel safe and the customers as well." As ekathimerini reports, while the banks have been closed, businesses have been calling on the security company to find places to keep their cash and asking for guards and alarms to protect their assets. They are also using G4S as an intermediary to bring money from overseas to pay wages and suppliers, and drawing on its systems for shipping cash to provide guarantees for payments abroad, effectively using it as a kind of bank. G4S local boss added, "people have had time to digest the agreement so maybe there won’t be that scenario whereby people run to the banks to withdraw." Oh we are sure...

 

Via ekathimerini,

A British security firm that transports cash for Cypriot banks is working round the clock, sending teams out with police protection to stock bank machines and readying guards for when banks reopen on Thursday.

 

The world’s largest security firm, G4S, moves cash and will provide guards for Cypriot lenders including Bank of Cyprus and Cyprus Popular Bank, the two biggest, which are to be combined and see large depositors’ accounts frozen under a bailout agreed at the weekend.

 

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"Demand is greater than we can provide... We haven’t closed since the crisis started," he told Reuters. "I’ve never seen anything like it in terms of what is going on from a security perspective. I would say the workload has quadrupled because the whole system has changed."

 

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"People have had time to digest the agreement so maybe there won’t be that scenario whereby people run to the banks to withdraw," he said.

 

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They are also using G4S as an intermediary to bring money from overseas to pay wages and suppliers, and drawing on its systems for shipping cash to provide guarantees for payments abroad, effectively using it as a kind of bank.

 

The next big test will come on Thursday when 180 G4S guards will be deployed at bank branches to help handle an anticipated surge of customers demanding cash and answers.

 

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"The staff will be based outside branches and are there to control queues, if there are any queues," he said. "We will be in contact with the police. Basically it is to make the banking people feel safe and the customers as well."

 

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The firm achieved notoriety for admitting just weeks before the start of last year’s London Olympics that it could not provide a promised 10,400 venue guards, hitting its profit and reputation.