The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) has said banks must have toilet facilities within the premises for employees and outside for customers as contained in the regulations issued in 2008.
The bank clarified in a statement issued yesterday that there is no security requirement that prohibits banking institutions from having toilets for customers, but that the emphasis is with regard to location of facilities.
The BoT statement followed the dismay by a cross-section of customers of financial institutions, particularly banks, at the lack of toilets for clients, saying it led to unnecessary inconveniences.
According to the Central Bank Governor Benno Ndulu, banking institutions are required to have toilets for security guards and customers prior to commencement of operations in any particular premise. The toilets are to be located outside the banking premises for security reasons.
The BoT requires banks to have toilet facilities within the premises for employees and outside the premises for customers…the main concern for this separation is security. This requirement is contained in the Banking and Financial Institutions (Physical Security Measures) Regulations 2008.
He said the issue of public health in banking institutions was incorporated in the Banking and Financial Institutions (Physical Security Measures) Regulations, 2008.
Prof Ndulu said banking institutions are required to place public toilets outside the bank premises for security purposes and in consideration of their customers’ health and the public at large.
He said the BoT issued Banking and Financial Institutions (Physical Security Measures) Regulations 2008 with a review enhancing security arrangements.
The Regulations also require banking institutions to place toilets for their security guards and customers outside the banking premises as part of security arrangements.
“These requirements are detailed in the Pre-commencement Inspection Checklist for New Branches and Agencies which is normally issued to newly registered banking institutions and banks establishing branches,” he said.
However, he said the requirement is not applicable to banking institutions established prior to the Banking and Financial Institution (Physical Security Measures) Regulations 2008, when the requirement became active.
Banking premises located in public buildings such as shopping malls, banking institutions’ customers were expected to use the public toilets located in such buildings.
Last week a cross-section of customers of financial institutions, particularly banks, expressed their dismay at the lack of toilets for clients, saying it sometimes led to unnecessary inconveniences.
They said that they didn’t expect such institutions to not have washrooms for their customers.
A survey conducted by The Guardian in various banks in Dar es Salaam discovered that most of them lack washrooms for their customers and maintain toilets only for their staff.
Banks which were surveyed included CRDB Bank, National Bank of Commerce (NBC) and National Microfinance Bank (NMB) in Dar es Salaam.
The survey further showed that, despite the lack of public toilets in the banks' offices, there was little chance for customers to use the employees’ washrooms.
When contacted for comments, NMB communication manager Josephine Kulwa agreed that her bank didn't have toilets for customers.
“Your survey is interesting, but there are no toilets for security reasons. That is why there are only staff toilets,” Kulwa said.