ANZ apol­o­gises for en­forc­ing hat pol­icy

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - JO LINES-MACKEN­ZIE

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.

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