No cash, no bank heists in Denmark; criminals now go online

Jan 2, 2023, 6:10 PM | Updated: Jan 3, 2023, 8:13 am

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — For the first time in years, Denmark hasn’t recorded a single bank robbery. There wouldn’t have been much point.

Cash transactions in the Nordic country have become virtually obsolete, with Danes increasingly opting to use cards and smart phones for payments.

The Danish bank employees’ union on Tuesday welcomed the news that 2022 had been robbery-free.

“It is just amazing. Because (robberies) put an absolutely extreme strain on the affected employees every time (they) happened,” spokesman Steen Lund Olsen said in a statement.

Finance Denmark, the banking sector’s association, said only about 20 bank branches across the country have cash holdings. But then the number of bank branches has fallen from 219 in 1991 to 56 in 2021, it said.

News reports noted that cash withdrawals in Denmark have been dropping by about three-quarters every year for the past six years.

In 2000, 221 bank robberies were recorded, Finance Denmark said. In 2021, there was just one.

Initially, robbers switched their attentions from bank branches to Automatic Teller Machines, with such attacks peaking at 18 in 2016. But those too have come down to zero amid better surveillance and technical protection, the industry association said.

Finance Denmark said criminals in recent years have turned to defrauding people online.

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No cash, no bank heists in Denmark; criminals now go online