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Old 13.07.2015, 21:17
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safe deposit box: bank or elsewhere?

Looking at the pictures coming out of Greece, I can now understand why gold bugs advise never to keep cash or precious metals in the vault at a bank, always use some independent company.

Apparently some Greeks are being allowed to access their bank vaults but everything they take out has to be witnessed and they can't take out hidden cash.

While I'm sure everybody hopes this could never happen in Switzerland, times are changing. The Swiss have signed up for sharing information with the EU and USA. Many banks are now at the mercy of their IT systems and clearing systems in foreign places. As the flash crash demonstrated, things can change suddenly.

For those who use a bank vault, what are the alternatives?

I found a few from previous posts, in no particular order:

- http://www.proaurum.ch/home/servicep...liessfach.html
- http://www.geiger-edelmetalle.ch/sho...Storage/nav/38
- http://www.degussa-goldhandel.ch/en/safedeposit.aspx
- http://www.safes.ch/
- http://www.viamat.com/viamat/index.php?navid=2
- http://www.zf-company.com (this link appears to have been hijacked/gone out of business?)

Can anybody comment on the above?

Are there others?

Safe deposit boxes don't automatically come with contents insurance - can anybody comment on brokers who can provide a suitable policy?
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Old 13.07.2015, 21:54
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Re: safe deposit box: bank or elsewhere?

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...Can anybody comment on the above?...
Should the worst come to the worst I´m sure they'd impose restrictions on all vaults, be they with banks or other publicly available institutions.
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Old 13.07.2015, 23:50
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Re: safe deposit box: bank or elsewhere?

No, that is not how it works.

Independent vaults are not part of the financial system.

During a bank run or "bank holiday" the vault is closed because of practical problems - no bank staff are willing to work when there is a mob of angry customers outside.

Withdrawal from bank accounts is not possible because of the fractional reserve system - the bank doesn't really have enough money to pay all customers on the same day. But a safe deposit box doesn't have that problem so there is no need for the government to close independent vault operators. In fact, when people take out some of their gold and circulate it that helps to keep the economy ticking over.

Here is a nice video that explains it some more:

https://www.khanacademy.org/economic...eserve-lending
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Old 14.07.2015, 12:28
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Re: safe deposit box: bank or elsewhere?

Found some more options:

http://www.malca-amit.com/vaulting-facilities.html (Zurich)

http://www.erutec.ch (Alpnach, near Luzern)

http://swissgoldsafe.ch/en/ (Altdorf)

http://www.gestisafe.ch/index.php/en/ (Locarno)

http://www.cassettedisicurezza.com/en/ (Agno, near Lugano)
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Old 14.07.2015, 12:43
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Re: safe deposit box: bank or elsewhere?

bury it in the back garden?
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Old 14.07.2015, 12:59
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Re: safe deposit box: bank or elsewhere?

or store it as guns an ammo in your cellar and dare them to try to take it from you!
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Old 14.07.2015, 13:19
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Re: safe deposit box: bank or elsewhere?

In a big crash, having large denomination bank notes secreted away somewhere may not help either. The bank note series can be rendered invalid with only very restricted options being made available for converting the old series banknotes. I seem to remember that this happened when Russia defaulted in 1998, but I can't find a reference now.
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Old 14.07.2015, 13:46
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Re: safe deposit box: bank or elsewhere?

Indeed.
Most countries now have regulations on how much you can pay with cash.
Italy allows 999€ cash payments, AFAIK.
Switzerland allows 100k ;-)
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Old 14.07.2015, 16:09
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Re: safe deposit box: bank or elsewhere?

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No, that is not how it works.

Independent vaults are not part of the financial system....
It depends on the government.

If the bank-run is the only problem, then independent vaults may well remain open while bank-vaults are closed due to secondary reasons.

However, if the government suddenly imposes a gold-prohibition they may as well issue a restricion on all vaults, whatever their nature, to gain control over who possesses gold. The same could be put into place for cash, silver or whatever the legislator feels like controling.

And it's not theory - exactly this happened during the gold prohibition in 1934 in the US!
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Old 14.07.2015, 16:14
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Re: safe deposit box: bank or elsewhere?

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In a big crash, having large denomination bank notes secreted away somewhere may not help either. The bank note series can be rendered invalid with only very restricted options being made available for converting the old series banknotes. I seem to remember that this happened when Russia defaulted in 1998, but I can't find a reference now.
hence the guns and ammo suggestion.

for those without a firearms license, you can convert it to:

cigarettes, alcohol, gold, foreign bank notes, etc.
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Old 14.07.2015, 16:24
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Re: safe deposit box: bank or elsewhere?

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...The bank note series can be rendered invalid with only very restricted options being made available for converting the old series banknotes...
This can also happen if a bankrobbery leaves the perpetrators with banknotes which are issued in relatively small numbers, such as with Northern-Irish issued Pounds Sterling:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Bank_robbery
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Old 14.07.2015, 18:38
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Re: safe deposit box: bank or elsewhere?

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It depends on the government.

If the bank-run is the only problem, then independent vaults may well remain open while bank-vaults are closed due to secondary reasons.

However, if the government suddenly imposes a gold-prohibition they may as well issue a restricion on all vaults, whatever their nature, to gain control over who possesses gold. The same could be put into place for cash, silver or whatever the legislator feels like controling.

And it's not theory - exactly this happened during the gold prohibition in 1934 in the US!
Thanks for bringing up US gold prohibition

This is one thing that is probably harder for any Swiss government to get away with. There would almost certainly be 100,000 people willing to sign a petition demanding a referendum and then the laws would be put on hold until after the referendum. While waiting for the referendum, anybody with half a brain would probably remove things from their vault and keep them elsewhere.

Then there is the commonsense factor - if you look at those vault companies and their target markets, it seems they are doing a huge business with international customers. I doubt the Swiss government would want to turn away all that business.
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Old 15.07.2015, 10:59
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Re: safe deposit box: bank or elsewhere?

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Indeed.
Most countries now have regulations on how much you can pay with cash.
Italy allows 999€ cash payments, AFAIK.
Switzerland allows 100k ;-)
The proposed 100k limit was refused by the parliament about half a year ago. There's no limit on cash payment amount in Switzerland.

The reason for Roosevelts gold confiscation was the planned dollar devaluation by 41%, implemented in the following year, which would only be effective by having only little gold in circulation. The situation these days is completely different.
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Old 15.07.2015, 11:08
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Re: safe deposit box: bank or elsewhere?

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The proposed 100k limit was refused by the parliament about half a year ago. There's no limit on cash payment amount in Switzerland.

The reason for Roosevelts gold confiscation was the planned dollar devaluation by 41%, implemented in the following year, which would only be effective by having only little gold in circulation. The situation these days is completely different.
What is relevant today is that Eurozone and EU countries are really fed up with paying bailouts while knowing that rich Greeks moved their money to places like Switzerland. No doubt they are scratching their heads trying to come up with more ways to get that wealth back into the banking system and the tax system.

Of course, the rich people were only doing what was smart, taking their money out of a banking system that was at risk. But they will be made to look bad and used as justification for more repressive changes in some countries. I hear that people can't withdraw more than GBP 1,000 in some UK banks now without having to jump through hoops.
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Old 15.07.2015, 11:41
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Re: safe deposit box: bank or elsewhere?

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In a big crash, having large denomination bank notes secreted away somewhere may not help either. The bank note series can be rendered invalid with only very restricted options being made available for converting the old series banknotes. I seem to remember that this happened when Russia defaulted in 1998, but I can't find a reference now.
This seems pretty unlikely with the Euro - imagine trying to tell the French and Germans that they have to go in person to the bank with ID and cash in their old series notes!

It would also be an interesting experiment in the countries like Italy with a large dark economy.
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Old 15.07.2015, 12:54
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Re: safe deposit box: bank or elsewhere?

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What is relevant today is that Eurozone and EU countries are really fed up with paying bailouts while knowing that rich Greeks moved their money to places like Switzerland. No doubt they are scratching their heads trying to come up with more ways to get that wealth back into the banking system and the tax system.
Yeah, that's the old but outdated cliché. But did they? Bundesrat says less than 2bln on swiss acounts have been declared to belong to greeks. What's your source?
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Old 15.07.2015, 12:57
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Re: safe deposit box: bank or elsewhere?

Statistics don't mean so much in politics. Less than 0.001% of Muslims are involved in terrorism but that hasn't stopped governments using them as scapegoats. When governments like Finland and Germany have to justify another Greek bailout to their local population, the facts won't matter, they will just go with a story about rich Greeks not paying taxes and hiding the money in Switzerland.
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