Florida’s top bankers group has rolled out a security dress code that, if adopted by the industry, would mean “hats off” for banking customers in the Sunshine State, reports the Orlando Sentinel. he what-not-to-wear policy would prohibit sunglasses, caps and hoods — anything that might obscure a person’s identity, says the Florida Bankers Association. Citing Florida’s plague of bank robberies — which increased 40 percent in 2007 — the industry group touted its “No Hats, No Hoods, No Sunglasses” program as a deterrent that has worked in other states because potential robbers are more easily identified when their heads or faces are not covered.
Banks participating in the program will post notices in branches notifying customers that they should remove the prohibited clothing items before entering the bank. If they refuse, they would be diverted to a more secure area of the bank to be served by a specially trained teller. No customers will be denied service outright. Critics said banks trying to enforce the policy risk alienating customers and opening a Pandora’s box of problems involving personal freedom, religious expression, lifestyle, fashion and taste. Bankers have promoted similar “No Hat” programs in at least eight states, and the results have been dramatic, they said. “Bankers aren’t just going to hope robbers won’t come. We’re going to be proactive,” said Alex Sanchez, the trade group’s president. “The program is one more layer of protection for banks, employees and bank customers.”