If a bank happens to be robbed just after I withdraw money from my account, and the robbers make me hand over my money to them, am I entitled to refund from the bank? I know it may depend on the country, but you can tailor your answer to how it applies in a country you have knowledge about.

  • You need to add your location. This is very location dependent. I'd recommend you ask the robbers politely if you can put the money back into your account :-)
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 10:54
  • It sounds as if you are asking "If bank robbers make me hand over cash, is the bank liable for that as well as what the robbers took from them?" If so, please edit, and also explain whether if you are mugged on a street, you think the city street maintenance department is liable. Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 11:01
  • @TimLymington: Actually, if you buy goods in a store in Germany, they are the stores property until you leave the store. So a store would have to replace goods that you paid for if you are robbed before leaving the store. The question is: Whose money is it, or whose goods? At what point does it stop being the banks money, and becomes your money?
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 12:11

2 Answers 2


Not in any jurisdiction of which I am aware.

The whole point of currency is that it is completely negotiable. Once it is in your hands, its prior history is completely irrelevant.

The vulnerability to theft is one reason that large transactions are rarely conducted in cash, and are instead conducted either via wire transfer or via a check or money order (giro in Europe) of some sort payable to a particular person.

If the bank was somehow negligent in a manner that you could prove, and you could prove that this caused your harm, you might be able to sue the bank on a negligence theory, but generally a robbery would be an intervening cause of your loss that would absolve the bank of ordinary negligence.

A better fact pattern for negligence claim would be something like this: the bank where you had a safe deposit box left the safe door open and the keys to your box in an easily to see cork board by its door, meanwhile the employees of the bank all left on their lunch break at the same time and forgot to lock the bank's front door when they left, and as a result, someone stole something out of your safe deposit box.

Usually, the bank would cooperate in helping you to prove your loss with a withdrawal slip and other corroborating evidence, which would allow you to take a casualty loss deduction and/or make a claim for theft against your own insurance policy (which will often cover a very modest amount of theft of cash). But, ordinarily that would be it (maybe they'd buy you a coffee and donut to sooth your nerves while waiting around to give a police report).

  • So when robbers enter the bank, leave your cash in the ATM machine. Don't touch it :-) I don't know if it will help, but it will be an interesting post here.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 12:12
  • When the robbers enter the bank, you do what they say, because no amount of cash you would be withdrawing is worth dying for. That's what I did the last time I was robbed at gunpoint. They got $40 and one of these days they're going to end up dead or in prison. I was inconvenienced for a few days getting a new ID and new credit cards and a new laptop (fortunately my old one was password secured and almost completely backed up in the cloud). Even if you managed to prevent the robbers from getting your $$ you'd probably end up with PTSD if you let yourself care about something like that at all.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 12:15

Not in Australia.

First the bank does not owe you a duty of care (probably) and even if they did, the actions of the robber are not actions of the bank.

See here for an example - the claim was for PTSD but the principle would be the same for monetary loss.

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