Research Alert

Although bank robbery has been declining over the last decades, there are still offenders willing to rob bank branches, even if economic benefits are small. The impact from bank robberies goes well beyond the direct economic loss with considerable human toll and possible psychological after-effects on employees, customers or police officers. Sometimes, the consequences are fatal.

Researchers from Universidade da Coruña, in cooperation with staff of ABANCA S.A. (Spain), developed a new model, published in Risk Analysis, with the aim of reducing negative impacts on people and prioritize investments in security measures.

The model is based on the MIVES (Spanish acronym for the Integrated Value Model for Sustainability Assessment) method, in conjunction with Monte Carlo simulation, as a way of accounting for uncertainty. It evaluates a wide range of indicators for i) security features, ii) employees, iii) operational procedures, iv) physical environment and v) social environment.

A specific version of the model was used to assess the risk of 636 real bank branches belonging to ABANCA. The model provides valuable results that are easy for bank employees to understand. It allows the user to identify the weak points of a branch and it serves to identify the bank branches with medium or high levels of risk and foster a security and safety culture among employees.

Despite the fact that this model was designed for a specific commercial bank, it can be applied to other banks in Spain and other countries, and even other types of commercial establishments, if the corresponding modifications are introduced.

The full article can be found on the Risk Analysis journal website at