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Bank staff under threat due to cash shortage

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Bank staff under threat due to cash shortage
14:56 CEST+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.

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