Anthony J delancaster-Swinbank-Slack may well be the best dressed man in Matamata, but ANZ are refusing to serve him.
…It was a weekday, around 10am, when he entered the Matamata ANZ – his bank of 30 years.”Even if we know who the customer is … we ask them to remove their hat out of fairness to other customers,” ANZ External Communications senior manager Stefan Herrick said.
…Retail New Zealand Public Affairs general manager Greg Harford said hats of any description can be an issue.
“From a security point of view, hats can obscure a customer’s face and banks do need to take steps to secure their premises.”
Now that sounds fair enough, one rule for all is the epitome of fairness especially when there is a legitimate reason for wanting the cameras to be able to record all the customers’ faces. Security these days is very important and so every customer should be required to comply no matter how elderly they are but wait there’s more…
ANZ external communications senior manager Stefan Herrick said it is bank policy to ask people to remove hats and sunglasses.
This is a proven way to deter robberies and fraud, Herrick said.
“Even if we know who the customer is – and Mr delancaster-Swinbank-Slack is a well-known and loyal customer – we ask them to remove their hat out of fairness to other customers.
It still all sounds fair and reasonable. Hats and sunglasses obscure people’s identity and no matter how fond they are of their eyewear and headgear they need to follow the bank’s rules. But wait there’s more…
“We do realise it can be an inconvenience and seem overly cautious to those we know well, but it’s a small thing we ask customers to do in the interests of safety of everyone, and we thank customers for their patience.”
Herrick admits the rule isn’t always enforced.
He said staff can get busy helping other customers and as a result one or two hats may get overlooked.
…Mathura-Jeffree said hair extensions, among other things, are a huge craze currently.
There is so much these days that can completely change the way a person looks, he said.
“If a man can walk in wearing a turban, I’m sure you can walk in as a recognised customer of 30 years wearing a hat.”
However, etiquette writer Lee Suckling thinks the opposite.
“If this man really was the gentleman he claims to be, he should know that it’s customary for gentlemen to remove their hats when indoors.
“This is a historical convention, true, but it’s also required for modern day life – as we see with the armed forces (and the like) when they remove their hats indoors.
“A turban is a religious item of clothing; asking to remove that would be a violation of human rights. A tweed flat cap, however dapper, is not.”
And there is the problem right there. The bank itself avoided mentioning religious head gear but by admitting that the rule isn’t always enforced they quietly avoided discussing the issue.A man with a tweed hat has the exact same human rights as the man with the turban and the woman with the headscarf or Niqab. Rules are rules. Nuns have to be checked at airports for security reasons just like everyone else. Human rights is not a legitimate argument because believing in a God should not mean that you get any more human rights than anyone else.