German cash supply in danger as Heros goes bust
21 February 2006, HANOVER, GERMANY - The cash distribution system in Germany was steady Tuesday, despite the insolvency of the country's main operator of the armoured trucks that transport coins and banknotes to and from banks and shops.
21 February 2006
HANOVER, GERMANY - The cash distribution system in Germany was steady Tuesday, despite the insolvency of the country's main operator of the armoured trucks that transport coins and banknotes to and from banks and shops.
A spokeswoman for Heros, which filed Monday for the insolvency of all 23 of its business units after executives had allegedly helped themselves to 300 million euros (360 million dollars) from the vaults, said delivery runs were proceeding normally.
"As far as I know, we're all continuing the usual runs," said Maren Schatz in Hanover. She could not say if this would remain so.
An insolvency administrator was appointed Monday to review whether the business can be saved or will have to be wound up.
Fears have been expressed that the commerce may grind to a halt if cash ceases to flow in Germany, where much of the population continues to shop with cash rather than with debit or credit cards.
Germany's two main banking associations, the savings bank federation and the commercial bank federation, said they could cope whatever happened. They, other armoured truck companies and the Bundesbank central bank were to discuss the crisis Tuesday.
BDGW, the association of 160 armoured transport operators, said other firms would put more crews on the road in case the Heros trucks were idled.
Four senior Heros executives were remanded in custody Monday on suspicion of serious misappropriation and organized crime.
Prosecutor Norbert Jansen stressed Tuesday that no drivers or guards were under suspicion of dishonesty.
The Heros group does not release sales or earnings figures. It employs about 3,000 guards and clerical staff. Last year the Heros group took over its main German competitor, Securitas Deutschland.
Subject: German news