Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, ASSBIFI, has reacted to the destruction of equipment, and damage to buildings of some financial institutions, saying such action is endangering the lives of their members and other staff of banks.
The Association, in strong terms, condemned the act in a statement signed and made available to journalists over the weekend, adding that scarcity of the new notes is borne out of the propaganda against banks as the sole cause of the inability of the public to have access to cash across the country.
The statement read in part:
Our attention has been drawn to the recent attacks on some of our institutions leading to the destruction of equipment, and damage to buildings while endangering the lives of our members and other staff of banks.
We strongly condemn this act which is borne out of the propaganda against banks as the sole cause of the inability of the public to have access to cash across the country. We have seen a few videos of bank branches allegedly hoarding cash in their vaults.
While we do not hold brief for these isolated cases or condone any verified bad behavior, we expect that the same sources of these videos to also project the many locations that have continued to provide cash to customers or have empty vaults due to the unavailability of cash. Unfortunately, we do not deem it security conscious for us to share videos or pictures of our vaults with the public as professionals.
We are concerned about the safety of our members who, in the past few weeks, have worked tirelessly EVERYDAY for long hours against the prescribed work hours just to ensure customers are able to deposit their old currency notes and make the new ones available for withdrawals at ATMs.
This exercise has taken its toll on their health, work life balance, and families while being faced daily with the fear of physical assaults by irate customers.
While we assure the public of our commitment to ensure their pain is ameliorated, we appeal for calm and understanding at this time as we call on the security agencies to ensure the safety and security of our lives and bank property.
WE ARE NOT SABOTEURS but professionals who follow and implement policies of regulators and will never be engaged in any act that will bring our institutions or persons to disrepute.