Ultra-luxury safety deposit boxes are locking up some big business

A combination of economic anxiety and income equality has led to the rise of ultra-high end bank vaults.


December 3, 2019

Next week, a company called International Bank Vaults (IBV) will start selling access to the world’s most expensive safety deposit boxes.

According to a report from The Guardian, these bougie boxes will cater to the growing crowd of UHNW people (“ultra-high net worth” individuals — their words, not ours) who want to stash their cash. 

These boxes aren’t built for everyone

The vault’s cheapest and tiniest box — just 2 inches high by 6.3 inches wide by 19.3 inches deep — still costs around $779 per year. By comparison, a box twice the size at the UK’s biggest safety deposit provider costs just $311.99.

“We won’t deal with millionaires,” Sean Hoey, the managing director of the vault, told The Guardian. “We will be dealing only with billionaires.”

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So, why are these bougie bank vaults on the rise?

One reason that the world’s wealthiest are stashing their loot is to avoid losing their money to a potential recession or to banks that are starting to charge customers to hold onto their money.

But these UHNW individuals also see these vaunted vaults as status symbols — and so companies like IBV want to make their vaults feel more like elite clubs than Wells Fargo locations.

Customers who stash their cash in the soon-to-open vault will be able to catch a ride to the 120-year-old mansion in London where the vault’s located in a Rolls-Royce with the license plate “II IBV.”

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