Financial institutions, including those named in the most recent Homeland Security warning as potential targets of terrorism, beefed up security today, although most were tight-lipped about specifics.
Citigroup notified its employees via e-mail today that security measures at its New York business were increased. Its security unit will implement additional measures as the Republican National Convention draws closer, the e-mail said.
At Prudential Financial in Newark, N.J., security measures put into effect this morning included additional local police and building security as well as safety barricades around the building, according to Laurita Warner, spokeswoman. "The mood is business as usual," she said. "Some employees are saying the extra security makes them feel a little anxious but also makes them more assured." She added the company has a business continuity plan in place, but did not provide further details.
Michael O'Looney, Merrill Lynch spokesman, said the firm was taking extra precautions and is in "constant contact with law enforcement officials." He would not provide further details, noting, "Merrill was not mentioned in any of the terror threats."
Goldman Sachs spokeswoman Andrea Raphael could not discuss specific security measures the company is taking but said, "We take every precaution possible to protect our employees." Diana Quintero, spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley, said the firm had no comment on the situation.
At the NYSE, John Thain, CEO, said in a conference call with reporters that the Big Board was working closely with city, state and federal authorities to "maintain the highest level of security" for the exchange and its employees. "The New York Stock Exchange will not be intimidated by terror," he said. Mr. Thain, along with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York Gov. George Pataki and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., rang the opening bell at the exchange this morning.
In Washington, the SEC stepped up its security as a result of the latest warnings, said John Nester, a spokesman. "We are in constant contact with the markets about their readiness and systems' capacity," he said; he could not provide specifics about the increased security.
Andrew Williams, a spokesman for the Federal Reserve Board, declined to discuss stepped-up security measures, and Damien Milverton, a spokesman for the World Bank, did not return calls by press time seeking comment on the financial institution's security measures.