A strange situation is developing in The Netherlands. All domestic banks will shut down their outside ATMs at night. This measure is taken to thwart the wave of explosive attacks against these teller machines.
Attacking Bank ATMs
In The Netherlands, as well as Belgium, a serious crime wave is taking place. Criminals are purposefully targeting outside bank ATMs throughout these countries. To empty the machines, they often use explosive charges.
While not all attempts are successful, they create an uneasy situation. Especially now that more recent attacks see the use of heavier explosives. It is not unlikely to think this situation will continue to escalate if no action is undertaken.
No ATM Access at Night
A new emergency proposal has been approved in The Netherlands. Per law, banks will be forced to disable their ATM services every single night. Services will not be available between 11pm and 7am.
Such a drastic change is not entirely surprising. Earlier this month, ABN Amro emptied 479 cash ATMs. This move was a direct response to the number of explosive attacks affecting their teller machines.
This forced shutdown has gone into effect last night. It will remain in place until further notice. Cashpoints posing a risk to nearby residents will be moved to a different location if so required.
Finding Other Solutions
The general consumer will not be too happy regarding this decision. After all, they are no longer given access to cash money that technically belongs to them. Given the uneasy situation in the country, however, this approach seems more than warranted. That is, as a temporary measure.
Dutch Banking Association’s Chris Buijink adds:
“Cashpoint raiding undermines society. We can’t just stand by and watch as explosives go off somewhere in the country every few days, particularly near people’s homes. Disabling cashpoints at night will have little impact on the availability of cash.”
A new solution to counter these explosive attacks is in the works. Geldmaat, operator of the Dutch joint ATM network, has a plan. Together with De Nederlandsche Bank they want to render banknotes worthless if stolen by raiders.