View Full Version : bank robberies

11-30-2012, 08:31 AM
What are the effects of a bank robbery on the bank?

I've found several articles talking about the effect of bank robbery on the bank robber (it's generally not a good career path to choose) but none focused on the bank.

I'm sure it's not good to have your bank robbed, but I also know that banks have insurance to guard against robberies. I'm imagining a small- to medium-sized bank, large enough to have multiple branches covering a region (maybe a half dozen states). Not one of the behemoths like BoA or Citigroup.

11-30-2012, 08:45 AM
Financially, not much. Average bank robbery is something like $5,000 or so. Not really a big chunk of money overall. They either take the loss or get reimbursed by the insurance company. I believe that any money lost because of dye markers is replaced by the Federal Reserve Bank.

It's just part of the cost of doing business.

Bad loans vastly exceed the amount of money lost in bank robberies.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Drachen Jager
11-30-2012, 09:45 AM
Possibly PTSD or other trauma for employees.

What exactly are you looking for?

11-30-2012, 11:21 AM
Given the vast corporate interconnectedness + governmental insurance on deposits, the answer is virtually nothing, in financial terms. But employees and unlucky customers most certainly do get terrorized, and occasionally killed, in robberies. That's where the problem really lies.


Becky Black
11-30-2012, 02:25 PM
I work for a bank at their head office, so I know a couple of things. The financial impact is minor for the bank. Most bank robberies are fast in and out and get only the cash that's behind the counter. They don't stick around long enough to get into the vault, like the better planned bank robberies you see on TV. So it's not a lot of money.

The biggest impact is on the staff. I know a couple of colleagues who used to be branch staff, but after being faced with people pointing shotguns at them, they couldn't do that work any more and took head office jobs instead. Some end up off work with PTSD. In the end that probably costs the bank more money than what's actually stolen on the day.

Some branches might get robbed frequently because of the neighbourhood they are in, or the location somehow makes it easy to get in and get away quick (like it's on a street not in a paved shopping area so easy to escape from in a car.) In that case the branch might eventually be closed because it's no longer worth the trouble and the danger to the staff. So then the local community is the one feeling the effects and some account holders might move to another bank that does still have a branch nearby - especially local businesses who need to pay in their cash takings every day.

11-30-2012, 10:03 PM
What exactly are you looking for?

If I knew what I was looking for, I wouldn't be haunting this forum! :D

Seriously though... I'm thinking, some kind of crime that would cause noticeable financial harm to the bank, but not enough to completely destroy it. Since a bank robbery probably isn't going to do it, maybe I'll go for arson instead... :)

Drachen Jager
11-30-2012, 10:27 PM
Arson won't do it either. Banks are insured to hell and back.

You know what does hurt a bank? There was an instance in Europe a few years back, where one of the bank's traders used money he shouldn't really have had access to to make stock-market plays that he thought were solid, but turned out to be a bad deal. The bank lost billions. I think they had to agree to a buyout from another bank to avoid total financial collapse.

Another thing that can hurt a bank is a 'run'. Basically if every customer (or even 10%) of a bank's customers ask for their money back all at once, it can be enough to sink a bank. They don't have the cash on hand to cover that sort of thing, and they'd be forced to sell assets at a loss to cover everything. This caused many bank collapses back the mid-early 20th century, but I think there are better safeguards against that sort of thing happening now. I think the S&L crisis in the '80s was a version of this too, but I may be wrong.

11-30-2012, 10:27 PM
If I knew what I was looking for, I wouldn't be haunting this forum! :D

Seriously though... I'm thinking, some kind of crime that would cause noticeable financial harm to the bank, but not enough to completely destroy it. Since a bank robbery probably isn't going to do it, maybe I'll go for arson instead... :)

As blacbird noted, the conglomerate nature of most banks means small losses wouldn't really hurt them. In banking, the cost of a building is small!

If you want to really hurt a major bank, you need to get into complex electronic fraud. A bank lives or dies on its ability to judge how much money it has at any time - how much is coming in vs how much is going out (assets vs liabilities). If you compromise that, they're screwed.

If it's a smaller bank, local in scale, maybe spread rumours that they're running out of cash. If you cause a big enough run on the bank, it'll become true.

Drachen Jager
11-30-2012, 10:35 PM
Ahh here's the European story, Jérôme Kerviel, a rogue trader, lost 4.5 billion Euros of Société Générale's money.


For more ideas, look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_fraud

12-01-2012, 12:33 AM
Also have a look at Barings Bank, the rogue trader's name was Nick Leeson. He lost them over £800 million.

12-01-2012, 01:26 AM
More likely then a rouge employee is bad business sense. You acquire a whole lot of iffy mortgages and other loans that do okay in a normal business environment. But when you hit a recession, and people can't pay, all of a sudden the bottom falls out of your loan portfolio. See Washington Mutual - Wikipedia (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CDAQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FWashing ton_Mutual&ei=ECO5UNKDBKy10QH6uICgCA&usg=AFQjCNHXUoi06hxwKdfs_9gGs8g3qhkA9w) or Savings and loan crisis - Wikipedia (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CC0QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FSavings _and_loan_crisis&ei=RSS5UNW7DsbX0QGKlIG4BQ&usg=AFQjCNE9eajlZ97qLC_kiuEAOhlQLXffaQ).

A rouge employee is likely covered by the bonding company, and there are some limitations normally as to how much credit of the company they can pledge.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

12-01-2012, 02:11 AM
Oh banks, why must you be so difficult? Good thing this isn't a terribly critical plot point!!

12-01-2012, 05:30 AM
Bans in the FDIC, most US banks, are insured by the US Government. Robberies result in virtually no financial loss. Some investment firms might be a better option, though a robbery will also not have any real effect. Investment fraud is a much better probability.