Denmark experiences its 1st year without a bank robbery

In 2022, no bank robberies were recorded in Denmark, for the first time in the Scandinavian country's modern history. This is not due to exceptional security levels, but to the disappearance of cash from almost all branches.

Only one bank robbery in 2021, none in 2022

Over 20 years ago, Denmark was still averaging one armed bank robbery every 2-3 days, with 221 bank robberies recorded in 2000.

Over the years, the decline of cash, which is particularly marked in Scandinavia, has led banks to dispense less and less cash in their branches. Since robbers no longer have anything to steal, they have gradually turned away from these establishments.

By 2010, the number of armed robberies at Danish banks had already fallen to 135 for the year as a whole. By 2016, 18 ATMs had been robbed, and since 2017, Denmark has recorded fewer than 10 robberies a year. By 2021, only one bank robbery had been recorded.

" It's simply fantastic. Because it's an absolutely enormous burden on the employees involved, when this happens," said Steen Lund Olsen, vice-president of Finansforbundet, Denmark's largest financial sector union.

Cash is gradually disappearing from Scandinavia

Bank robberies have declined as Danes have turned away from cash in favor of mobile payments and bankcards. Already in 2016, according to a study by the Bank of Denmark, cash was used for only 25% of transactions, compared with 80% in 1990.

Back in 2014, several Danish banks introduced a platform for instant transfers. In 2015, the government considered allowing merchants to refuse cash payments, before backtracking. By 2021, only 12% of transactions were cash-based, with cash accounting for only 9% of transactions by value.

Banks have therefore adapted, and there are now only around twenty branches in the country that still dispense cash to their customers at the counter. ATMs are also becoming increasingly rare. In the absence of loot to steal, bank robbers have finally abandoned the banks.


The disappearance of cash is observed throughout Scandinavia. In Norway, cash now accounts for just 3% of transactions, and only 1% in Sweden, where retailers are now allowed to refuse cash.