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Bank staff under threat due to cash shortage

Bank staff under threat due to cash shortage

Published: 02 Sep 2011 14:56 GMT+02:00
Updated: 02 Sep 2011 14:56 GMT+02:00

Swedish banking giant Nordea’s decision to stop all cash handling at certain offices is exposing staff to threats and offensive behaviour, according to the Financial Sector Union of Sweden (Finansförbundet).

“It is the people who greet our customers face to face that are forced to meet all the complaints,“ said Jessica Johansson of the union to Sveriges Radio (SR).

She said that the threats are often verbal, customers complaining about the drop in service.

“It can be anything from personal slurs to more concrete criticism,“ she said to SR.

In many instances guards have been called to solve threatening situations and the union now urges all its members to report any threat they feel directed at them.

But according to the head of information at Nordea, Helena Östman, the threats that have been reported have nothing to do with queues or waiting times.

“The small number of threats that staff have received is about other things. Some customers can get very irate with the personal questions that we are obliged to ask due to money laundering laws,” she said to TT.

Today Nordea has 200 offices that handle cash.

It is, among other things, the risk of robbery that has made the bank actively work to decrease the cash handling in many offices.

Customers are also increasingly doing their banking online, according to the bank.

“We have great understanding for customers getting irritated by the long waits, but in general queuing times haven’t increased,” said Östman to news agency TT.

But Gunilla Klingberg, a Nordea customer, turned around when she realized how long she was going to have to wait to cash a cheque.

“It is remarkable. I think that there are 40 numbers before me. They’ve just closed down the service at my local office so I cycled over here to get cash. So, this is very bad service,” she said to SR.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:20 September 2, 2011 by Stickeroo
It's crazy, a bank not having cash? Why are they even open then? The only reason I ever go there is either to have a meeting with my banker (for which I don't stand in a line) or to deposit/withdraw cash. They should just close the branch.
16:36 September 2, 2011 by hipersons1
I never know what I can or can't do at a Nordea branch. Literally every time I go to a new branch I wait forever only to be told, "Oh I'm sorry, we can't do that here." For gods sake, YOU'RE A BANK. Let me take care of my BANKING. (I'm a little bitter, this happened to me today).
17:29 September 2, 2011 by cattie
I guess they WILL do anything to chase away customers. You see, customers are a bother since then there is more work.

Let a bank who wants the business take over.
20:44 September 2, 2011 by heavenblues
i had account in Nordea and i can easily say they are the worst. After i open account in Handelsbank peace comes in my life plus it provides me all services free of cost and i feel privileged whenever i go there and not cursed as in Nordea...!!
23:05 September 2, 2011 by StockholmSam
Ridiculous. A bank that does not handle cash. Say, anyone want to open a pizzeria that does not sell pizzas?

In general, I have found service in Sweden to be overwhelmingly lousy. The Swedbank nearest me closes its doors at 4pm (1600) on weekdays. I don't know about you, but I don't leave work until 4pm. Or later. Either they want me to use my lunch hour to do my banking, which is bad because every other working stiff has to do that, too (imagine the lunch-time queues); or they want me to use my work time to do my banking, which lowers my salary or my productivity/efficiency or both (thus slowing the economy); or they only want to serve retired people and the homeless. Genius. Pure genius.
03:07 September 3, 2011 by texaslass
All I can say is that if you don't like a bank's policies, then stop banking with them. Nordea will get the message when they start losing customers.
11:53 September 4, 2011 by hjoian
this is a step towards a cashless society. But for the people who take cash payments in their course of work and wish to deposit it into an account,then this move by Nordea will no doubt cost them more loss in the future.....if they are too blind to see that,they dont deserve to be in buisness. All banks take risk handling cash. What a bunch of bankers!
19:31 September 5, 2011 by waffen
Simple.

Keep what cash that you need for your monthly expenses, and make one trip every month to deposit money in an account in Luxembourg.

The banking there has superior advantages to most banks, and when enough Swedes began to bank out of the country, the banking in Sweden will improve over night.

Luxembourg would be glad to have your banking, and perhaps devise a method whereby you could wire funds to your account as well.

The banks in Sweden are not doing anything for you, so go elsewhere.
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