Tag Archives: China

Hong Kong’s Royal England Aims To Be ‘Top Safe Deposit Box Service Brand In The World’

Back in April, Royal England Safe Deposit Box Ltd. celebrated the “soft opening” of its private, non-bank vault in Hong Kong’s Central/Western district. Outfitted by Burton Safes, Royal England offers over 1,400 safe deposit boxes with 24/7, 365 days a year accessibility in addition to other conveniences like trackable third-party access and a secure pick-up/drop-off service.

Not too long ago, facility director Ray Li was interviewed about the creation of Royal England, developing the business, and bringing Chinese-American actor Michael Wong on board as their brand ambassador. According to Li:

The business has been on track as scheduled since it started operation in July. However, as our target customers are the well-heeled in the society, to appeal to them, we hope to present Royal England as the top safe deposit box service brand in the world.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


“Royal England- Enjoy Real Privacy”
YouTube Video

Royal England is also a member of the Safe Deposit Federation (SDF), “a self-regulating federation of independent safe deposit box companies.”

Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes wishes Royal England Safe Deposit Box Ltd. all the best with their new facility.

You can read the entire interview with Ray Li here. And for more information about Royal England, head on over to their website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes (www.offshoresafedepositboxes.com)

(Editor’s note: The mention of a particular business/organization should not be construed as confirmation of services claimed to be provided or any sort of recommendation. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

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List Of Offshore Private Vaults Updated

The list of private, non-bank vaults outside the United States (offering safe deposit boxes/lockers at a minimum) located on this blog’s sister site- Offshore Private Vaults- has just been updated.

Safe deposit facilities now open for business have been added under the following countries:

-Hong Kong (Smart Secured Storage)
-Liechtenstein (Liemeta AG, Triesen)
-United Kingdom (Swansea Safe Deposit, Swansea, Wales)

That’s it for now. Any new facilities I missed? I’d be grateful if you let me know about them. In the meantime, readers can view the updated list of offshore private vaults here.

Christopher E. Hill
Editor

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Related Reading: A Visit To Baoku Treasury, The World’s Largest Private, Non-Bank Safe Deposit Box Facility

Back on May 18, I blogged about the recent opening of Baoku Treasury, the world’s largest private, non-bank safe deposit box facility. I haven’t come across that much material about the Shanghai, China, private vault in my research, so it was with great pleasure that I spotted an article about Baoku on the Sixth Tone website (Shanghai) tonight. Wan Qian discussed her visit to the safe deposit box facility in the July 7 piece, which I found to be quite interesting. Qian reported:

Stories about the safe-deposit boxes in “Vault 1,” located 25 meters below ground level, have gone viral in recent weeks. The Baoku Treasury- owned by Baoku China- is the largest underground vault in China, reputed to be even more secure than banks…

Of the 18,000 safe-deposit boxes in Vault 1, 20 to 30 percent are reserved for use by businesses in Shanghai’s financial district, which use them for secure data storage. Several thousand more are reserved by the government, leaving approximately 10,000 boxes available for personal use. Six thousand of these have already been sold.

In addition to the Baoku Treasury, there are around 20,000 safe-deposit boxes scattered around the city’s financial district. However, only 20 percent of these are available to the public.

The rest are reserved for bank employees and VIPs. For this reason, private safe-deposit boxes have historically been a lucrative investment, with almost all of the ones in the financial district being snatched up prior to the opening of the Baoku Treasury…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Good stuff. Head on over to the Sixth Tone website here to read the article in its entirety. And for more information about Baoku Treasury, you can visit their website here (translated here).

By Christopher E. Hill
Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes (www.offshoresafedepositboxes.com)

(Editor’s note: The mention of entities marketing themselves as private vaults outside the U.S. offering safe deposit boxes/lockers at a minimum should not be construed as confirmation of services claimed to be provided or any sort of recommendation. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

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Martin Armstrong: ‘Anything Of Value That Is Stored In A Safe-Deposit Box Is Now Considered Money Laundering’

Martin Armstrong, economist at Armstrong Economics and the subject of the 2014 documentary The Forecaster, has chimed in on the new HSBC safe deposit box regulations in Hong Kong. He issued this warning on his company’s blog Friday:

Governments are targeting safe-deposit boxes to look for cash that is hiding from taxation. HSBC, a U.K. bank, is now moving against claimed financial crimes by altering conditions for safe-deposit boxes. This is becoming a global trend. Anything of value that is stored in a safe-deposit box is now considered money laundering. Governments want their taxes and all the laws are changing to ensure they get their money.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Anything of value that is stored in a safe-deposit box is now considered money laundering”

Does that include legally-purchased and owned precious metals (with receipts to boot also showing taxes paid when applicable)?

Armstrong didn’t elaborate in his June 3 post, but back on March 29 I discussed how he thinks government will deal with precious metals. From that post:

On March 14, Armstrong talked more on this subject. He blogged:

Government will make transactions in gold or silver illegal and equivalent to money laundering. These people are not about to let anything circumvent their dreams…

The likelihood that you will be able to travel with gold is about zero. The likelihood that you will be able to go to the local grocery store and buy food with silver or gold coins is also zero. The more probable outcome is that this will provide a hedge against government to make the transition to the next monetary system. These people are fighting for dominance over society. Do you really think it will be that easy that everyone will be using gold and silver coins? They will not go down without a fight and the first blood draw will be on our side — not theirs.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I added:

If events unfold like Mr. Armstrong predicts they will, geographical diversification of precious metals in the physical form- particularly gold- in an offshore safe deposit box could prove to be a wise financial decision.

By Christopher E. Hill
Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes (www.offshoresafedepositboxes.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on information found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

Source:

Armstrong, Martin. “Hunt for Taxes: Safe-Deposit Boxes Under Attack.” ArmstrongEconomics.com. 3 June 2016. (https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/world-news/taxes/safe-deposit-boxes-under-attack-hunting-for-money/). 6 June 2016.

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HSBC Implements Controversial New Rules For Its Hong Kong Safe Deposit Boxes

Here’s a story I came across on the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) website over the holiday weekend that might interest readers. Cannix Yau reported Sunday night:

A barrister has accused HSBC of trampling on the concept of personal privacy by demanding the power to snoop on customers’ safe deposit boxes and dump “offensive” items.

According to a letter sent to clients last month, a copy of which was obtained by the Post, the bank said that under new conditions of its leases for the lockers it had the right to dispose of any items it considered illegal, of an “offensive” nature or likely to be a “nuisance”, in any way it saw fit and without prior notice or consent.

The letter did not clarify what HSBC meant by “offensive” or “nuisance”, and did not explain under what circumstances bank staff would be able to inspect the boxes

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Financial crime-fighting on the part of HSBC? Or the next volley in the so-called “War on Cash”?

I’m not going to steal Yau’s thunder here, so head on over to the SCMP website to read her entire article. It’s a good one.

By Christopher E. Hill
Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes (www.offshoresafedepositboxes.com)

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Baoku Treasury, World’s Largest Private, Non-Bank Safe Deposit Box Facility, Opens In Shanghai, China

Regular readers of this blog know that new private, non-bank safe deposit box facilities keep popping up all over the world. Here’s one that sounds particularly impressive in terms of size, security, and customer “perks.” From the website of China Daily on March 19:

As one component of the Guanfu Baoku project, the Baoku Treasury, China’s largest underground vault that has 30,000 private safe boxes, has gotten a warm welcome from local residents since its official opening in early March.

Within the first week, more than 3,200 of the first lot of 10,000 limited safe boxes — priced from $10,000 for 15 years — have been snatched up by customers rushing in from the city and other regions of the country.

“We chose the world-class building to contain the world’s largest private safe vault to help local residents store their treasured collections of artwork and artifacts within the best facilities,” said Liu Feiguo, founder and CEO of Baoku China, which oversees the Baoku project.

The 7,000-square-meter facility, which is located five levels beneath the Shanghai Tower, is equipped with security systems that are even more sophisticated than bank vaults, as well as hi-tech environmental controls that ensure precious art is stored under optimal conditions…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

China.com talked more about the operation on May 10. From their website:

The private underground vault is located on the ground floor of Shanghai Tower, it is build integratively with the Tower, and there are more than 30,000 safes and 24 warehouses.

The total investment of the vault exceeds 14.8 billion Yuan

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Back on March 21, International Channel Shanghai ran a segment about the facility here.

Regarding those customer “perks” I mentioned, China Daily added:

The purchase of Baoku safe boxes also includes free-entry to the Guanfu Museum and privileges on certain cultural-related activities

With the Guanfu Museum and Baoku Art Centre, located on the 37th floor, the project aims to create an innovative art space offering visitors a combination of private collections from the Baoku Treasury and exhibitions from the Shanghai Guanfu Museum and Baoku Art Centre.

“The combination will offer more benefits and public service products to everyday people, not just professional collectors, in order to further develop China’s cultural service sector,” said Ma Weidu, the founder of the Shanghai Guanfu Museum, which has five exhibition halls containing more than 500 artifacts such as ceramics, gold pieces, antique furniture, Buddha statues and textiles.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

An interesting collaboration by the Baoku Treasury, which other safe deposit box businesses might look at emulating. Back when I worked as a U.S. Senator’s aide, I seem to remember our free passes to Washington D.C. attractions were quite popular with visiting constituents. Out-of-town (and local) vault customers might appreciate a similar “perk.”

Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes wishes Baoku Treasury all the best with their new venture. For more information about the private vault, you can visit their website here (translated here).

By Christopher E. Hill
Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes (www.offshoresafedepositboxes.com)

(Editor’s note: The mention of entities marketing themselves as private vaults outside the U.S. offering safe deposit boxes/lockers at a minimum should not be construed as confirmation of services claimed to be provided or any sort of recommendation. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

Sources:

“Baoku offers super vault.” China Daily. 19 Mar. 2016. (http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2016-03/19/content_23957481.htm). 18 May 2016.

“Take a Look at the First Chinese Underground Vault.” China.com. 10 May 2016. (http://english.china.com/news/china/54/20160510/634189_1.html). 18 May 2016.

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Switzerland Still Best Place In The World To Store Physical Wealth?

On March 1, I blogged about a recent Financial Times (UK) article in which American investment banker/risk manager/attorney/financial commentator James Rickards recommended storing gold in private, non-bank vaults in Switzerland. Such advice from Rickards, who penned The New York Times bestsellers Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis (2011) and The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System (2014), isn’t exactly new. Back on June 17, 2015, The Gold Chronicles, a production of the Cayman Islands-based Physical Gold Fund SP, uploaded an interview with Rickards on its website. The New York-based adviser on capital markets to the Director of National Intelligence and the Office of the Secretary of Defense spoke highly of Switzerland regarding asset protection matters. Rickards shared with listeners:

With regard to Switzerland specifically, Switzerland is my favorite jurisdiction in the world for security and liberty and respect for the rule of law

The Swiss do take this seriously. They have not been invaded successfully for over 500 years or maybe longer. The last time somebody tried to invade them, a Swiss force met them on almost a suicide mission. The Swiss were outnumbered and killed, but they just wanted to prove a point and they did. The invading army retreated pretty quickly.

Of course, the country is heavily armed. A lot of those mountains that you like to ski on and they look pretty from the train, well, guess what? They’re hollowed out and have armaments, artillery, communications, and command-and-control stations. It’s interesting to note that some Swiss vaults are buying hollowed out mountains from the Swiss Army and using them as vaults. Some of the expanded capacity, in terms of Swiss vaulting, is actually inside a number of these mountain tunnels and chambers that have been hammered out for defensive purposes.

For all the reasons I mentioned, i.e., rule of law, national security, integrity, tradition, liberty, I think Switzerland is probably the best place in the world to store physical wealth. I know a lot of people talk about Singapore, but I’m just not a big fan of Singapore. It looks kind of libertarian from the outside with pretty good rule of law, and I do business in Singapore, but it’s a little too close to China. It’s a little too under the Chinese thumb for my comfort whereas Switzerland, I would say, isn’t under anybody’s thumb.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Is Switzerland really the go-to country for protecting lawfully-obtained and owned private wealth? I mean, certain members of the U.S. financial community have recently proclaimed that Switzerland has capitulated to those seeking to eliminate privacy and eventually confiscate individual wealth to increase government coffers.

Interested in finding out if Switzerland still maintains its long tradition of respecting and protecting privately-owned assets, I recently communicated with a Swiss private vault that offers safe deposit boxes in the mountainous Gotthard region (Altdorf). Swiss Gold Safe Ltd. spokesman Ludwig Karl was very reassuring that Switzerland can and will respect/protect individual wealth as it’s something still largely embedded in the national consciousness. From a March 4 e-mail:

We have chosen Altdorf for private lockers, because it is a landmark and symbol of freedom. In Altdorf, the bailiff Gessler, representing the count of Habsburg in central Switzerland, requests that everybody greets his hat on a rod on the market square. William Tell refuses reverence to the hat. The bailiff forces William Tell to shoot an apple off his sons head with his crossbow. William Tell hits the apple, but he has prepared a second arrow to shoot the bailiff in case he would have hurt the child. Later on William Tell shoots the Austrian tyrant Gessler in the hollow way between Immensee and Küssnacht.

Later in 1291, the three oath-takers (Eidgenossen) from the cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Nidwalden, wanted to be free and independent and founded the Old Swiss Confederacy with their oath on the “Rütli”, a silent meadow above Lake Lucerne. Nowadays, central Switzerland is often associated with the notion of the réduit, the Swiss bunker and defence system in the Alps, developed around the time of the Second World War. This idea of réduit – of resistance – is still firmly entrenched in the national psyche and often associated with the St. Gotthard mountains.

Beside the fact, that we are a well-armed nation, we have cultivated the so called “spiritual defence” (geistige Landesverteidigung), a strong and widespread political will of the Swiss population to defend Switzerland’s independence and democratic constitution against aggressors of all kind. We have a long tradition of respecting private property and wealth and are willing to defend our values of freedom.

Today, Swiss Gold Safe uses the privatized Bunkers successfully and offers security lockers and storage in remote surroundings…

That’s right. Swiss Gold Safe is one of those non-bank vaults Rickards was referring to when he said, “Swiss vaults are buying hollowed out mountains from the Swiss Army and using them as vaults.” From their website:

Swiss Gold Safe Ltd. is a privately owned Swiss storage company, founded in 2006, totally independent from banks and other organisations. Near Altdorf, in the Gotthard massive we offer safe deposit boxes in a high security bunker, originally constructed for the Swiss army and privatized in 2007…

Swiss gold safe indeed, by the sound of it.

So is Switzerland still “the best place in the world to store physical wealth”? The arguments in support of that idea sure seem quite compelling.

The Rickards interview can be listened to here on the Physical Gold Fund SP website. For more information about Swiss Gold Safe Ltd., which is celebrating 10 years in existence in 2016, you can visit their site here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes (www.offshoresafedepositboxes.com)

(Editor’s note: The mention of entities marketing themselves as private vaults outside the U.S. offering safe deposit boxes/lockers at a minimum should not be construed as confirmation of services claimed to be provided or any sort of recommendation. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

Rickards’ soon-to-be-released book…

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