Friday, December 30, 2011

Valuables at risk - Safe Deposit Box? Is it safe?

There are risks associated with owning physical metals. There is no counter party risk, but that's of little assurance if they are stolen.

Those keeping tabs on the news may already be aware of the story of two thieves who were recently caught with $6.5m in cash and valuables ($4m cash, bullion, jewelery, etc):
A father and son faced a Melbourne court yesterday after NSW Police uncovered a ''treasure trove'' including $4 million in cash, a large amount of foreign currency, 120 kilograms of silver bullion and thousands of pieces of jewellery worth up to $6.5 million at a Sydney storage facility.

Police said thieves had broken into a storage facility in Ivanhoe and more than 100 homes and businesses on Sydney's north shore, cleaning out safes and leaving them looking like they had never been tampered with.

Christopher See, 56, and Phillip See, 33, were each charged by Victorian police with one count of burglary and one count of theft in relation to a robbery at Kennards storage depot at Upper Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe, between December 3 and December 10, where it is alleged they accessed 36 security boxes. The Age
It's concerning enough that these thieves were able to get in and steal the contents of safes without the owners knowing let alone that they managed to (allegedly) burgle 36 safe deposit boxes at the Kennards facility. If nothing else this story should act as a reality check for those that think it's worth saving a few dollars for a cheaper storage facility when it comes to protecting your assets.

Here are a couple of benefits that Kennards suggests they have over a bank facility:
The Kennards Safe Deposit Boxes are available in 3 sizes and have several clear advantages over Bank operated safe deposit facilities:
- No 100 point I.D. check. Kennards is not required to enforce 100 point I.D. verification.
- Access 7 days a week – banks limited operating hour’s means you are restricted and cannot attend when it is convenient for you.
While these might look like advantages to some, the convenient access (24/7) and privacy offered (no 100 point check for customers) is potentially as useful to thieves as it is to the legitimate customers who are using the facility.

I think safe deposit boxes are safer than storing your metals at home, but ensure you are trusting the right company and facilities with your business and where it isn't already provided it's best to consider insurance as well.

A home safe might seem like a good option, but in the case you were threatened with a knife or gun by an intruder the level of security the safe provides will be of little benefit if you are forced to open it.

Buying, holding and storing physical metals isn't without its risks, ensure you investigate the best solution for your personal situation before buying metals.


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