BANKS HAVE TEMPORARILY ESCAPED EXCESSIVE SECURITY MEASURES
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) have arrived on a principle agreement that Ordinance I-171, which describes in detail security measures in banks' branches and includes regulations on the vehicles for transport of money, should enter into effect as of mid-2006. At the recent meeting between representatives of the central bank, the Interior Ministry and the Committee on Security with the Association of Commercial Banks (ACB), held in the beginning of June, in addition to postponing by two years the enforcement of the above-mentioned ordinance, some amendments to the provisions of the document itself were discussed. The participants in the meeting agreed that bullet-proof glass windows and armoured walls should be installed only in branches that daily effect transactions in cash and valuables whose total worth exceeds BGN20,000. This will to a great extent make things easier for banks, as most of them have orientated to the establishment of small branches with about five or six employees, whose daily transactions are worth no more than BGN10,000.Banks' great problem - the setting up of cash points in big banks' halls and equipment with additional armoured vehicles for transportation of cash and other valuables - has been postponed for mid-2006 and remained unsettled so far. The Interior Ministry presently insists that as of the middle of 2006 all bank halls where more than BGN20,000 is kept every day should be equipped with cash points, replacing the cash boxes. These are special places for cashiers, constructed of armoured walls, bullet-proof glass windows, special locks and latches, conference systems and air-condition. Such a premise will coast at least BGN20,000 and the replacement of cash boxes by it in all big bank halls will cost to the top credit institutions, such as BULBANK, United Bulgarian Bank (UBB) and DSK Bank between BGN5 and BGN10MN. Vehicles for transportation of banks' money are another problem. The Interior Ministry insists that their batteries and engines should be placed in a separate bumper. The banks employees, responsible for the financial institutions' internal security, believe that this expensive novelty would in no way improve the security of cashiers and guards, neither that of the transported valuables. According to them, however, the requirement that at least three people should be driven in the vehicles for transportation of cash should become an absolute must. While two of them bring in or out money from the bank's branch, the third one will be guarding the vehicle and the valuables left in it. The absence of a third person in a transport vehicle of EIBANK was the cause for the theft of BGN386,000 in April 2004, while the bank's employee and the driver-cum-guard were entering the post office on Byala Slatina with the money.