An unprecedented study has shown that the average heist only yields a modest £12,706 – a little less than six month’s average salary – and that robbers flee from one in three banks emptyhanded.

The analysis was carried out by researchers at the Universities of Sussex and Surrey.

They studied data from the British Bankers’ Association, which included how many robberies were involved and whether weapons were a factor.

Academics discovered the average total proceeds from a heist in Britain are just £20,331 with each gang member left with a typical haul of £12,706.

Robbers armed with guns were able to get more money and there is a clear link between the number of raiders and total takings – the bigger the gang, the greater the success.

Each extra gang member raised the overall haul by an average of £9,033, but the takings per person fell considerably.

Professor Neil Rickman, of the University of Surrey, said the research highlights how bank robberies are a ‘poorly paid career path’.

“‘I am sure it pays for a group of criminals who work very hard and do a very professional job,” he said.

“It depends what you want to get out of it. If you want to fund the next round of drugs then £20,000 is a useful sum of money.”

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