March 27, 2013
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…
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