Chase Bank cited “rising crime and vagrancy” to explain why it had recently decided to cut back the hours of some ATMs previously open 24 hours a day.
“Our apologies,” the bank tweeted at a frustrated customer who was surprised to find a closed ATM last week. “We decide to close several ATM vestibules at 5PM or 6PM, aligning the hours of service to that of the normal branch hours, due to rising crime and vagrancy that occurred in these previously 24/7 vestibules.”
It’s unclear exactly how many Chase bank ATMs across the city had curtailed hours. A spokesperson for Chase, Jerry Dubrowski, said that since November, individual branches had been adjusting their hours based on local circumstances. He declined to comment on specific incidents, but said Chase locations in cities beyond New York had taken similar steps.
The bank saw one particularly jarring incident in the summer of 2021, where a customer was attacked with a hatchet inside a Lower Manhattan vestibule.
Dubrowski said overall, a small number of ATMs had their hours reduced, but he declined to say how many.
“For the safety of our customers and employees, we may temporarily close some ATMs overnight,” Dubrowski said. “Many of our ATMs remain open 24 hours.”
Sunny Ng, a 37-year-old software engineer, noticed the reduced hours at ATMs in Williamsburg and Fort Greene.
“I find it frustrating and inconvenient, because I expect a certain level of service that comes with being a customer, and one of the expectations is being able to access my money at any time,” Ng told Gothamist. “Given NYC has a reputation of being a 24/7 city, having ATMs close at 10 p.m. makes no sense.”
Dubrowski declined to say whether customers would be compensated for ATM fees if they had to turn to non-Chase ATMs, saying the bank has more than 16,000 ATMs nationwide, and no one had complained about not being able to find an open one.
Kathy Wylde, the President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, said she wasn’t shocked to see Chase had opted to scale back the hours of its ATM vestibules.
“There have been some bad incidents in vestibules so it is not surprising that action would be taken to protect customers,” she said. “Unfortunately this is reminiscent of the bad old days.”
A spokesperson for the NYPD didn’t return a request for comment right away regarding crimes that occurred inside ATM vestibules. NYPD data showed that citywide, robberies were up about about 26% last year compared to 2021.There were about 17,000 robberies last year.
Robberies still remain at lower levels than they were decades ago: an 80% decline from 1990 when more than 100,000 robberies were documented.