City bosses stand firm over terrorist threat

Despite new fears of al Qaeda attacks in the square mile, City employers say
they have faced the threat of terrorism for 30 years and are well prepared, but
are still warning staff to remain vigilant.

All are understandably secretive about exactly what they are doing. The
Financial Services Authority (FSA), said: "It’s important that members of
staff are aware of any threat. We carry out the usual safety measures in line
with those other companies are undertaking." Barclays Capital was similarly
vague: "[We have] appropriate measures in place and we remain vigilant. We
are consistently monitoring the situation and are in touch with the appropriate
authorities."

According to HSBC, communication is key. The bank has been the target of
terrorism before, when its Istanbul office was hit by a car bomb last year. A
spokesman said the most important action was to keep staff regularly updated
regarding security and any particular threats should be immediately
communicated to staff.

Rory Murphy, joint-general secretary of trade union Unifi, and, from today,
assistant general secretary of Amicus, said he believes the UK is
better-prepared for terrorism than other countries.

He said companies should tell staff exactly what they know about any
threats, keep talking to employees and not to be frightened of any dangers.

But Mike Emmott, employee relations adviser at the Chartered Institute of
Personnel and Development (CIPD), warns that it is important employers and
individuals do not over-react.

"It might not always involve communicating with staff; it depends
entirely whether there is anything useful to say," he said.

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