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Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,308
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Safe deposit boxes aren't safe


@pigletsmom wrote:

@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.


With banks alot OF THINGS happen...... they need to be accountable. There is no OK with accidents and mistakes when it comes to my money!!!!!!

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Registered: ‎11-25-2011

Re: Safe deposit boxes aren't safe


@SeaMaiden wrote:

@pigletsmom wrote:

@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.


With banks alot OF THINGS happen...... they need to be accountable. There is no OK with accidents and mistakes when it comes to my money!!!!!!


But the topic is Safe Deposit Boxes....not deposits/loans, which is

covered by FDIC regulations. SDB boxes are ‘Wild West’.

The financial institution has no idea what’s in those boxes.

And drilling a box is a BIG deal....and EXPENSIVE process.

Banks don’t drill ‘just ‘cuz’.   And I read the OP & several of these

replies with VERY raised eyebrow. 

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Registered: ‎07-01-2012

Re: Safe deposit boxes aren't safe

Safety Boxes are not insured by banks.  They aren't covered under FDIC or DIF.

 

A safety box is opened with two keys.  The bank has the master key to the boxes and the owner has the other key.  Both keys are needed to open a box, and close the box, in the vault where they are maintained.

 

A signature is needed to sign in to record who entered the box.  If the signature matches that of the owner of the box then the box can be attained.

 

The clerk gives the box to the owner and then has the owner enter an area where they are alone, and can not be seen by anyone.  This is for the protection of anything that is in the box.  A camera can not be placed in this space because the privacy of the owner of the box, and the contents, would be recorded.  What can be filmed is the area where the individuals enter the room with all safety deposit boxes, and the sign in.

 

The clerk returns when the individual comes out of the room and then the box is handed to the clerk and then placed back in it's space.  Both keys are also needed to lock the box.  The owner retrieves his key and leaves, and so does the clerk.

 

Power of attorney does not always mean the person who has that power can have access to the box.  A special form must be on file by the owner with their signature and the signature of the person who has that power of attorney for them to have access to the box.  Power of Attorney ceases when a person dies.

 

When a person dies, and is the only owner of the box, a death certificate and court order is needed for the box to opened by the estate.

 

It is important for people to know that just one name on file is not good.  If a person becomes suddenly sick, no one can enter that box unless they have a signature on file to access that box.  This is important for the elderly to know.

 

A box is drilled opened when there has been no access or payment for the box, and when an individual dies etc..  This is done, on camera, with a bank official watching and a police officer present and along with a person for the estate of the deceased.

 

Banks and states have different rules but basically those are the guidelines. 

 

If the article is factual then there were many violations regarding bank procedures

et cetera and those involved are accountable.

 

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Registered: ‎06-11-2011

Re: Safe deposit boxes aren't safe

[ Edited ]

I've had about six or seven safety deposit boxes in my adult life, at various financial institutions.  Every single contract I signed to rent each one contained a clause absolving the financial institution of any liability for theft or loss of the contents that I put in the box.  In other words, the contract was a one-way street, all in favor of the financial institution taking my money for renting the box but in no way being responsible for it.

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Re: Safe deposit boxes aren't safe

[ Edited ]

@Pearley wrote:

I've had about six or seven safety deposit boxes in my adult life, at various financial institutions.  Every single contract I signed to rent each one contained a clause absolving the financial institution of any liability for theft or loss of its contents that I put in the box.  In other words, the contract was a one-way street, all in favor of the financial institution taking my money for renting the box but in no way being responsible for it.

 

@Pearley 

 

You are correct they are not responsible for it, but they are responsible for the contract you signed with them regarding their procedures for securing the safety of the box.  Seeing identification and so on.  A person can insure their own belongings going into the box.  If there is a violation by the bank, you are insured by your own insurance.  The culpability rest with the circumstance.

 

So often people remove things from their box and fail to put everything back.  If the clerk does not check the area to see there was nothing left on the counter, then what you left outside is your responsibility if the area was not correctly checked before the next person enters.  Nothing can done because you can not say the bank took the items because you were in a secure spot.  It is all about procedures and you can not prove the bank did not follow procedure, hence, they are not liable. And how is anyone able to prove the items were in the box in the first place.  Drilling a box open is an issue.

 

Oxymoron.


 

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Re: Safe deposit boxes aren't safe

[ Edited ]

@Pearley wrote:

Every single contract I signed to rent each one contained a clause absolving the financial institution of any liability for theft or loss of the contents that I put in the box. 

 

In other words, the contract was a one-way street, all in favor of the financial institution taking my money for renting the box but in no way being responsible for it.


Er uh.....of course.

Obviously the idea behind a Safe Deposit Box is lost on many. 

Don’t see how people think the Bank is responsible for

unknown items in a locked box...

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Posts: 7,863
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Safe deposit boxes aren't safe

? I thought it was common knowledge not place cash or jewerly in safety deposit boxes?

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Registered: ‎08-18-2016

Re: Safe deposit boxes aren't safe

  That whole story is questionable.

If, like the person in the linked story, I had a huge collection of coins and watches valued in the millions of dollars, I'd certainly invest a few thousand in a secured vault storage I could keep an eye on rather than putting it into a SDB.  And I'd have it insured.

 

If I were to rely on bank storage I'd break it into several lots, stored in several different bank's boxes.

 

Seems to me the person in the story was very foolish in trying to secure his fortune very cheaply.

 

In the article it came down to:

1. an incompetent employee who opened the wrong box

2. an incompetent system where the transferred items weren't inventoried and photographed upon arrival, and matched to the inventory and photographs of what the bank sent

3. thieving employees who had easy pickings because of grossly inadequate security protocols