Nicolette Dirk, finance writer, Justmoney
The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) commended the South African Police Service (SAPS) for the arrest of the criminals involved in the shooting and subsequent death of Dereck Woods (53).
Woods was shot outside the De La Salle Holy Cross College school last month after allegedly withdrawing a large amount of cash at a bank.
According to reports, Woods was followed to the school by three men after he drew a large sum of money. Two men jumped out of their car as Woods approached a stop street close to the school, and tried to grab the bag of money. Woods fought back, but the men fired at him and fled with the cash.
Banking industry is concerned
Kanyisa Ndyondya, SABRIC spokesperson, said the industry is concerned about the 9, 7% increase in associated robberies from January to March as compared to January to March 2013.
She said it could be attributed to an increase in reporting. Crimestats figures showed that cases of robbery with aggravated circumstances increased from 101 123 in 2012 to 105 779 in 2013.
“We would also like to encourage banking customers to carry as little cash as possible and consider utilising other alternate banking methods to avoid such robberies,” said Ndyondya.
If you need to pay accounts, consider options that are lower risk instead of withdrawing large sums of cash.
Here are a few SABRIC tips for individuals to avoid becoming victims of a robbery:
• Carry as little cash as possible.
• Consider paying your accounts electronically (ask your bank about other available options).
• Consider making use of cellphone banking or internet transfers to do your banking.
According to SABRIC, a small business, which is cash based and needs to deposit money on a regular basis at the bank, should apply the following tips to minimise the chances of robberies:
• Alternate the days and times on which you deposit cash.
• Never let people know when you make your bank visits, even to people close to you.
• Do not openly display the money you are depositing while you are standing in the bank queue.
• Avoid carrying moneybags, briefcases or openly displaying your deposit receipt book.
• It’s advisable to identify another branch nearby that you can visit to ensure that your banking pattern is not easily recognisable or detected.
• If the amount of cash you are regularly depositing is increasing as your business grows, consider using the services of a cash management company.