World’s Rich Are Rattled and Seeking Old-Fashioned Security
Bloomberg November 20th 2019. “The World’s Rich are Rattled and Seeking Old Fashioned Security”. This was the headline in Bloomberg on the 20th November and the article went on to describe reports of an exponential growth in demand in the private sector across the world for the humble “Safe Deposit Box” service.
You will find the full article published online at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-20/world-s-rich-are-rattled-and-looking-for-old-fashioned-security and in that article, multiple examples of that increasing demand has been shared by a portfolio of prestigious companies across Europe and the United States.
Described eloquently in the article as the “flight to quality” by Christopher Barrow, chief executive officer of London-based Metropolitan Safe Deposits, individuals across the world have come to appreciate the benefits of renting private Safe Deposit Box ‘s which reflect the changing circumstances of an affluent, mobile and discerning client base.
As the co-founder and CEO of Dubai based MySafe, a fully automated, Lloyd’s insured, 24/7 convenience, safe deposit box business in the UAE with centers in JLT Dubai and Palm Jumeriah, I would like to add our contribution to this story. We recently visited a prestigious bank in Thailand who shared details of their safe deposit box service.
The criteria for acceptance onto the Bank waiting list was to agree to place 1 Million USD on deposit with the bank and in those circumstances, you were gifted the opportunity to be placed on the “waiting list” to secure the coveted “box”. At the time we visited, the bank waiting list averaged 3 years before you secured your “box” and once rented, your access was restricted to banking hours and the bank could not insure the contents of your safe deposit box. This may be an extreme example of the challenges faced by the consumer in securing access to a traditional safe deposit box but it is also indicative of the way the banking sector has been obliged to squeeze consumer demand to reflect their own strategic agenda.
Is it any wonder there is a “Flight to Quality”.
The banking sector present a view that there is a decreased demand and that may well be the case for global banks but not for the reasons they suggest. Any such decrease in demand for bank safe deposit box services is not consumer driven, its a reflection of the strategic direction taken by the banks. To be fair, the banking sector faced many challenges delivering the safe deposit box service.
What was once a “traditional facility almost gifted” to their most prestigious clients morphed into a strategic challenge no longer aligned to the banks core business. The change in focus by global banks to online banking platforms and the ever increasing pace of bank branch closures has led to an ever decreasing capacity to deliver “local” safe deposit box services.
The closure of these branch networks further compounded the challenges faced by the banking sector as clients who had traditionally stored items of personal value, sometimes for generations, suddenly found the local branch shut and the contents of their safe deposit boxes placed in “storage” by an increasingly frustrated banking sector.
The convergence of these circumstances and the investment made and the entrepreneurial leadership provided by the private safe deposit box industry. best illustrated by the membership of the Safe Deposit Federation, are the driving forces behind the re-energized private safe deposit box industry worldwide.
As highlighted in the Bloomberg article, the consumer demand is to identify alternative secure storage options which add value. The private sector has responded, taking a leadership role in making the investments required to deliver what was once a “Traditional” service and now converting that service into a 21st century convenience that fully reflects the demands of a globally mobile discerning client base.
The consumer requires a service that exceeds expectations in terms of security, insurance, accessibility, convenience and customer service. The private Safe Deposit Box industry has made the investments required to elevate the humble safe deposit box service into a dynamic, 21st century client centric, convenience and the market responds. When we deliver “traditional security” to the worlds rich (and not so rich), let’s do so in a 21st century way, and provide the global discerning client base with “Peace of Mind”
The author, Terry Downes is co-Founder and CEO of MySafe, a worlds first fully automated Lloyd’s insured, 24/7 safe deposit box business headquartered in the UAE