Norway has safest banks

For the third consecutive year bank robberies are on the decline in Norway. Only Finland and the incredibly peaceful Iceland - with one such crime in the last six years - have fewer heists in Europe. Since 1999 when there were 32 bank robberies in Norway, security precautions have steadily reduced the numbers. In 2000 hold-ups dropped to 25 and last year there were only 15 robberies. According to figures from the European Banking Federation (FBE) Denmark is the surprising leader in vulnerable banks with 208 robberies at their 2,000 branch offices last year. "In Norway we have some of the most advanced security systems in the world," said Arne Vestby, head of security at Den norske Bank (DnB). "The risks are now so great that it isn't worth the potential profit," Vestby said. Besides direct bank robberies, thieves have tried their luck with post offices eight times and automated dispensers 17 times. The payoff has not been good. Several ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) have resisted attempts to blow them open, and ink cartridges inside them have gone off, coloring and destroying bank notes. Post offices are the least rewarding branch in the hard hit robbery business. While 12 of 15 bank robbery investigations have led to a suspect being arrested and charged, post office suspects have been nabbed every time.