Why robbing banks doesn’t pay (much)

Any would-be bank robber should take a second to study the data kept by the British Bankers’ Association. Now the guys at BBA’s word might not be as good as gold here, as they do have a vested interest in keeping people from robbing banks, but lets just ignore that for a second and take a look at their data, as presented in a recent paper by three economists that managed to gain access to the you can see that there were a total of 106 attempted or successful robberies in the UK in 2007. Britain had a total of 10,500 branches in 2007.

Now, according to the Wall Street Journal, the average haul in those robberies was $31,600. However, a third of the ‘successful’ robbers came away empty-handed. I guess that success counts as getting away for them.

So the average heist was actually $46,600. Except that 20 per cent of the successful robbers were later apprehended.

It gets worse, though (at least if you’re a robber).

On average the robberies involved 1.6 persons, meaning that on average a person involved in a successful heist came away with $19,750. That’s roughly half of the net average earning for a UK worker, meaning that the bank robber would have to take part in two robberies a year to be middle class. Yep, here’s another candidate for the hardest way to make an easy living.

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