ANZ apologises for enforcing hat policy
A woman with stage four cancer was ordered to remove her beanie in a Matamata bank, even though staff knew she was undergoing treatment.
Joy Turner has been doing business at the ANZ for 10 years, but recently a teller told her she needed to remove her beanie.
‘‘I don’t take it off for anybody other than my family,’’ Joy Turner said. ‘‘No one has seen me without my beanie since May. I wear because it gives me a bit of confidence as well.’’
Since battling cancer, she has regularly worn her beanie in the bank.
‘‘I sort of just smiled at her and stared and said I wasn’t aware of any policy.’’
The teller repeated that she really wasn’t allowed to leave the beanie on, as it was bank policy that nobody was allowed to wear hats. The teller then put her hands up around her head, as the cameras were monitoring her, so there was a record that she was telling Turner to remove her beanie.
Turner said she acknowledged it was for medical reasons, but remained adamant.
A shocked Turner picked up her banking and left the branch in tears.
‘‘It did upset me once I got out of the place, because I wasn’t
‘‘We'd like to apologise to Joy Turner for any distress this has caused her.’’
expecting to be confronted. My beanie is really thin and I just don’t know what they think I could be concealing. And they know me as well. It’s not like I’ve gone into a random bank.
‘‘Because of my cancer, we have been struggling and you feel very intimidated as well. It just adds to everything.’’
The thought of never going in again did cross her mind, but after a sleepless night, she returned the next day with her beanie on and was served by a different teller, who didn’t ask her to remove it.
Turner did lay a complaint with the head office, but the reply was that there were no exceptions to the rule.
Anthony J delancasterSwinbank-Slack recalled a similar situation with the ANZ bank in Matamata, when he was asked to take off his tweed gentleman’s cap a few weeks ago.
It was a weekday, around 10am, when he entered the Matamata ANZ – his bank of 30 years.
‘‘I went up to my favourite bank teller, Emma, to draw some cash and she said she couldn’t serve me unless I took off my hat.
‘‘If I serve you, it’s as much as my job’s worth, she told me.
‘‘What a bloody stupid rule. It’s nuts. A bank’s a bank. You’re going to take your money out and that’s it – it’s against human rights.’’
Six years ago, the 90-year-old man encountered the same issue at Hamilton’s Ward St branch.
On that occasion, the teller told him she would not cash his cheque unless he removed his English-style tweed sports hat.
He later received an apology from the head of department, he said.
Despite this being the second occurrence, delancasterSwinbank-Slack does not want to change banks. He only asks ANZ show some leniency.
ANZ spokesman Stefan Herrick said the Matamata branch manager was unaware of the situation and that when customers have serious health concerns, policy is not to pursue the removal of headgear.
‘‘We’d like to apologise to Joy Turner for any distress this has caused her. Our policy does allow us leeway for customers with medical conditions,’’ said Herrick.
Stefan Herrick Joy Turner was asked to take her cancer beanie off when she was in Matamata ANZ branch.