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Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,994
Registered: ‎09-12-2010

Re: Safe deposit boxes aren't safe

The title of this thread does a great disservice to the many banks in this country who consider the safety of their customers' valuables as their top priority. I worked in the banking industry for 45 years and can attest to that.

 

One of my last jobs in a marketing capacity was to prepare the letters to be sent to safe deposit customers prior to closing a branch with safe deposit boxes. Letter #1 was sent regular mail to notify customers to come in and retrieve and close the contents of their box. Letters 2 through 4 were sent via registered mail with return receipt requested. The few customers who did not respond had their boxes removed under armed guard and transferred to the branch nearest to the closing branch. For a customer to say that they didn't receive any notification from their bank is hard to believe. Regulations require that; and internal and external auditors monitor how a bank handles bank closures as well as day to day operations.

 

I can't imagine any customer losing so many valuables as outlined in this article. Not saying it didn't happen, but based on the security I've seen, this is definitely not normal in any way.

 

Believe what you want, but also don't assume that all banks take no precautions with the safety of your valuables.

 

 

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 27,183
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: Safe deposit boxes aren't safe

I have several friends who have safes that rival a bank safe.

 

Some of them are the size of a large closet (in fact they fit in a closet) top to bottom.

 

They have dials, etc like you see in the movies that are in banks!

 

I can't imagine what's in those safes.  I never asked as it's none of my business and ...... well...I'm not interested.

 

I've been with 2 of the people who've gone into their safes to retrieve something for me that they've kept ..... safe...for me.

 

I never worried if it'd be 'stolen' because it looked like what I think Ft Knox might look like....Ha!

 

I have a small safe that has some things in it so I have an idea at how expensive those closet safes must be....

 

I have always thought it was funny (not always Ha Ha funny) what some people consider to be valuable enough to put in one of those huge safes.

 

 

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Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,323
Registered: ‎03-19-2016

Re: Safe deposit boxes aren't safe

   Many years ago my husband collected coins. He bought a huge safe when a store went out of business.

   He worked at a car dealership nearby and had many men take a tow truck to pick up the safe. They placed it in our garage between the workbench and water heater. It is so heavy it can never be moved!

   We had a cook out for them when they were through. 

    Now my son has the best coins and sold some but owns comic books. Only the top part of the safe is fireproof and filled with papers and silverware (it never tarnishes because it’s air tight). My best jewelry rests there but he has his his best comics in a safety deposit box due to a slight moldy smell in the safe. 

   I’ll tell him to read the safety deposit box contract. Mine only has some photos in it.

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,627
Registered: ‎12-10-2016

Re: Safe deposit boxes aren't safe


@blackhole99 wrote:

I cannot believe that there are not video cameras inside the bank vault where the SDB is.


@blackhole99  They are not allowed in the room with the SDB.

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Valued Contributor
Posts: 583
Registered: ‎10-16-2010

Re: Safe deposit boxes aren't safe

Stories like this, of people losing valuables that they've locked in a safe deposit box, have been going around for years. 

 

We've always had a safe deposit box and the security we've seen at some banks over the years has been pretty lax if not outright careless. 

 

At one bank we found that our safe deposit box, along with others in the vault, had been moved to metal shelving in an unsecured conference room during rennovation. We received no forewarning of this. 

 

At another bank I was told that they had no record of my safe deposit box. This was after the bank had been sold. In spite of the fact that there was assumedly no record of my box a gum-clacking bank employee let me into the vault and opened the box I pointed to. 

 

At that point I removed my valuables and turned in the keys. A couple years later I got a letter from the bank claiming I never returned the keys. 

 

At another bank safe deposit boxes were moved to another building during rennovation. At least this time we were forewarned by letter and advised to temporarily remove the contents prior to the boxes' change of address. 

 

I've found that at some banks safe deposit boxes aren't even housed inside a vault but rather a locked office room where anyone could kick down the door. 

 

I still store certain things in a bank safe deposit box but don't have a lot of confidence in the security. 

 

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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,191
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Safe deposit boxes aren't safe

 
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,965
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Safe deposit boxes aren't safe

How many times does this really happen?   It's never happened at most banks.  One story does not make a pattern or problem.

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Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,542
Registered: ‎10-07-2013

Re: Safe deposit boxes aren't safe

Decades ago, I had an incident that demonstrated this.  Wanted to get into our box.  Bank employee put her key in one lock.  Tried to put our key into the other lock and it wouldn't go in.  Tried twice.  No luck.  I looked closely at the lock and saw an indentation.  It looked as though someone had begun to drill the lock.  I called over the branch manager.  Her response was: "Oh yeah.  We made a mistake".  Gpt her to call the lock company.  We took everything out of the box and never did business with that bank again.

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Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,263
Registered: ‎11-21-2011

Re: Safe deposit boxes aren't safe


@jannabelle wrote:

The title of this thread does a great disservice to the many banks in this country who consider the safety of their customers' valuables as their top priority. I worked in the banking industry for 45 years and can attest to that.

 

One of my last jobs in a marketing capacity was to prepare the letters to be sent to safe deposit customers prior to closing a branch with safe deposit boxes. Letter #1 was sent regular mail to notify customers to come in and retrieve and close the contents of their box. Letters 2 through 4 were sent via registered mail with return receipt requested. The few customers who did not respond had their boxes removed under armed guard and transferred to the branch nearest to the closing branch. For a customer to say that they didn't receive any notification from their bank is hard to believe. Regulations require that; and internal and external auditors monitor how a bank handles bank closures as well as day to day operations.

 

I can't imagine any customer losing so many valuables as outlined in this article. Not saying it didn't happen, but based on the security I've seen, this is definitely not normal in any way.

 

Believe what you want, but also don't assume that all banks take no precautions with the safety of your valuables.

 

 


I agree with this. When I worked for a bank we took this stuff very seriously. Even had to read the obituaries every day to see if a customer with a box might have passed away so it could get marked and no random person could get in there.

 

Accidents and mistakes can happen in every single industry but I don't think this is in any way the norm. If it were there wouldn't be any safe deposit boxes because no one would use them and this story wouldn't have been written. I would say if you keep jewelry or valuables in there it's very easy now to snap a picture of what you keep in it. So you would at least have some proof of what was in there on the last visit. Of course people could take stuff out after and then lie about it too.

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,359
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Safe deposit boxes aren't safe


@CalmInTheHeart wrote:

How many times does this really happen?   It's never happened at most banks.  One story does not make a pattern or problem.


True.... only important if it happens TO YOU.