Bank customer robberies increase

New statistics reveal a 33 percent increase in bank customers being robbed.

New statistics reveal a 33 percent increase in bank customers being robbed. Picture: Chanel September/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - New statistics have revealed that there has been a 33 percent increase nationally in banking customers being robbed in the last year compared to the same period last year.

This week a garage manager in Bryanston in Johannesburg was robbed and shot dead while on his way to deposit R2,000.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) has launched a campaign warning banking customers to be more vigilant to avoid falling victim to criminals who follow potential targets to or from the banks.

Chief Executive Officer Kalyani Pillay says Gauteng has recorded the highest number of bank-associated robberies, with 53 percent of incidents reported in the province, while the Western Cape recorded 11 percent.

"There is a perception by the public that it's only banking staff who collude with the criminals and that isn't true."

In the last six months, six banking customers who were carrying large amounts of money were killed while being followed from or to the bank.

Pillay says this is a common modus operandi among criminals.

"People need to be more vigilant. They need to know there are more alternate ways to do banking and they should rather use the alternate ways."

Sabric has advised people to carry as little cash as possible to the bank, consider other electronic payment methods and not to repeat the same patterns every day.