According to figures released today by OSSIF, a research agency that monitors bank safety, just 940 banks were robbed last year, compared to 1,097 in 2011.
Banks in Italy’s northern region, considered to be the rich half of the country, suffered the most, with Lombardy having the most bank break-ins. Still, there were 25 percent fewer robberies there in 2012 than 2011.
Elsewhere, robberies fell by 52 percent in the Marche region; 36 percent in Lazio and by half in Puglia.
The financial rewards in the bank heist market are also on the decline: the amount stolen last year fell to €24.5 million from €25 million in 2011.
Perhaps burglars have cottoned on to the fact that the banks are cash-strapped themselves. In other figures released today by the credit agency Standards and Poors, banks had cut €44 billion worth of credit to Italian firms in 2012.
Meanwhile, one in four small businesses had its credit line cut by more than 27 percent in 2012, according to figures last week from Piccolindustria, a branch of the business federation, Confindustria, which focuses on small enterprise.