News and Commentary

Bank Of America Warns Employees To ‘Dress Down,’ Avoid Rise In New York City Assaults
A crime scene is established in front of the Triple A Aces social club on Utica Avenue on October 12, 2019 in New York City. At least four people were declared dead and three others wounded in an early morning gun fight at an illegal gambling location, according to the NYPD. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

In order to avoid a surge in assaults, Bank of America told their New York City employees to “dress down.”

According to The New York Post, Bank of America’s warning occurs as monthly felony assaults in the city have risen year-over-year by 15%, while murder has increased by 42% over the past two years.

The outlet reported:

At Bank of America, senior executives have quietly encouraged younger employees to “dress down” to attract less attention as they make their way to B of A’s tower at 1 Bryant Park. These execs have told their staffers that dressing up, or wearing anything with a Bank of America logo, could make them a target. One bank employee told On The Money he is on high alert after he spotted someone with a knife near the office during a recent trek to the Manhattan workplace…

One top executive at a large money management firm even recently began carrying a Taser as he commutes to his Midtown office, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told On The Money. And after daylight-saving time ended last month, more people are commuting home in the dark, giving worries over crime a renewed focus.

In areas surrounding Hudson Yards, the problem has been especially acute: For commuters coming into Penn Station or the Port Authority Bus Terminal, walking the few blocks to the Far West Side after dark on largely deserted streets, except for sometimes menacing vagrants, can feel dangerous, sources told On The Money.

Increases in crime — as well as high taxes and regulations — have made financial executives more skeptical about the future of New York City.

At a recent Financial Times conference, Goldman Sachs chief executive David Solomon warned that New York City may cease to be a global financial hub if it does not reverse the policies causing its decline. He explained that “New York has to be aware that there are good choices, and it’s got to keep itself attractive” — especially with relation to “taxes” and “cost of living.”

Pointing to Detroit losing its status as the capital of the automobile industry, Solomon noted that no city is guaranteed “a permanent place in the world.”

Over the summer, many investment bankers flooded recruiters’ offices with requests for transfers to Florida. Fox Business reported:

Job headhunters say banks such as JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs have what is being described as a waiting list of executives looking to move to the Sunshine State primarily because of its lower cost of living, but also because of other quality of life issues including a lower crime rate. Manhattan, where both firms are located, is dealing with a spike in crime and homelessness. Under Mayor Bill de Blasio crime statistics have risen in most categories with the New York Police Department reporting a 39.6% rise in grand larceny thefts last week for the four weeks ending June 6. 

Beyond assaults and murders, New York City is not immune to a rise in group smash-and-grab robberies. Across large cities in the United States, hordes of armed people have emptied retail stores and assaulted employees. In areas with “zero bail” policies, many suspects have been released onto the streets immediately following their arrests.

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