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.”

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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