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Bank Robber Disruption – Criminals Adjust Their Strategy

With new technological developments, accelerated by COVID-19, consumer behavior has changed a lot. Banking is more and more done online—even in Germany—so that bank branches are less and less needed. Banks react and increasingly shut them down. This is not only a problem for the elderly but also for a group of the population that is less obvious: bank robbers.

Simply put, if there is no bank branch or if the bank branch does not store any cash, there is little to rob. Fortunately for robbers, there is still an alternative source of cash: ATMs.

And who would have guessed: bank robbers have drastically changed their tactics!

The below chart shows that the number of traditional bank robberies has declined by almost 90% during the last ten years, the last year for which data is available. The neighboring country, Denmark, shows a similar but better pattern, as bank robberies have already fallen to zero while the country has gone almost cashless.

At the same time, in Germany, ATM explosions have increased almost 10 times.

So, for now, bank robbers still have a job, but the number of ATMs is declining fast as well. Therefore, they will need to change strategies again at some point until we all go cashless…