Photograph credit: Marcin Nowak

Safety Deposit Boxes In UK Being Closed By ‏HSBC – Not Closing Gold Vaults

Article written by Mark O’Byrne from Goldcore
– Incorrect rumours abound around blogosphere that HSBC is rapidly and quietly closing gold vaults
– HSBC are in fact closing down their safety deposit box facilities in vaults in branches
– Banks internationally closing boxes as not profitable and move to “cashless society”
– Incorrect speculation that HSBC move forcing gold clients to sell bullion
– Speculation understandable given poor communications from HSBC and manipulation of precious metal markets
– Salutary lesson to all – media and blogosphere – to be more rigorous
An incorrect rumour that HSBC is rapidly and quietly closing gold vaults where clients gold bullion was stored and gold in the GLD ETF is stored has been swirling around the internet.
After conversations with key players in the industry including a bullion dealer who used the safety deposit boxes for storage and delivery to clients, we can now confidently say that the speculation was incorrect.
What HSBC is actually doing is closing its safety deposit box facilities some of which are in vaults and strong rooms in branches. The vaults are not specialist gold vaults rather standard vaults or strong rooms which contain safety deposit boxes. These safety deposit boxes hold all sorts of valuables – from legal documents, to family heirlooms, to art works, to jewellery and of course bullion coins and bars.
Availability of safety deposit boxes is in decline in Britain and much of the world. Costs of security, insurance and opportunity to use such facilities in a more profitable manner are driving the closures. Banks in Ireland including the Bank of Ireland claim that the safety deposit boxes are “causing an unacceptable health, safety and security risk in some branches.”
In our brave new  world of the ‘cashless society’, the financial independence and freedom that a safety deposit box confers upon the citizen is frowned upon.
As a consequence citizens are being deprived of the opportunity of having their savings, valuables and wealth stored outside of the increasingly precarious financial system and digital banking system.
The implications of the rumours were significant. Analysts speculated that a precious metals market disruption might be imminent and with it delivery calls by clients who believe they own physical gold in GLD which HSBC most likely could not meet.
Such an event would likely have a dramatic upward effect on the price of gold not to mention a catastrophic effect on the finances of those who believe they actually own physical gold in ETFs. Irish Finance Minister, Michael Noonan, being one recent buyer of the gold ETF.
The misunderstanding regarding HSBC closing its deposit box facilities had led to speculation by people familiar with the underlying dynamics of precious metals markets. HSBC was implicated in a gold price manipulation scandal last year, and has been fined numerous times in the past decade for an array of corrupt practices.
As “the largest COMEX/NYMEX depository”, according to their website, they are viewed by sceptics as having both a capacity and a track record to manipulate precious metals prices.
About Sentinel Vaults
Sentinel Vaults is Ireland’s premier safe deposit box facility. It is the country’s only certified member of the Safety Deposit Association and Ireland’s first and only independent safe deposit box facility inside an original bank vault. Sentinel Vaults is the only safe deposit box facility in Ireland that is certified, registered and accredited. This shows that Sentinel Vaults have passed strict due diligence and compliance to operate as custodians of safekeeping.
The discreet underground facility is located on the prestigious Waterloo Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. Security in the vault has been upgraded to surpass bank standards. They offer peace of mind by providing state-of-the-art, modern security to keep savings, gold, silver, platinum and palladium coins and bars, bitcoin, jewellery, heirlooms, wills, deeds and other sensitive documents safe and secure.