While banks may be inclined to affiliate themselves with wealthier neighborhoods, they may also make a community safer, Virginia Public Radio reports. During the 1980s, when a plethora of banks began to merge, banks in poorer areas closed, resulting in an increase of criminal activity in those areas, according to the news source. Without bank services, individuals carried more cash, often storing large amounts in their home, a practice that ultimately led to an increase in robbery. Banks offer the consistent security that a bed mattress can't. "The lack of banking services made these individuals targets for violent crime – robbery specifically – after paydays,” Greg Fairchild, University of Virginia's Tayloe Murphy Center director, said. "Often times you’d find criminals who would bust into an apartment, find the gentlemen that were there with cash in hand, and take that cash with little worry of the police either patrolling at the moment and/or any of those individuals calling the police afterwards." Banks do more than simply secure large amounts of money. They also increase property values in the surrounding area, which in turn creates a more desirable neighborhood.