Since last spring, I’ve been aware of efforts to construct an international trade association for private, non-bank safe deposit box facilities. As recent as last week I discussed the subject. In a January 26, 2016, follow-up post on that series about the 1980s U.S. private vault boom, I blogged:
Something else I came across I wanted to discuss separately was a statement made by then-president of the National Association of Private Security Vaults, Rick Drummond. David C. Scott reported in The Christian Science Monitor on January 12, 1982:
As banks reorganize to meet the demand for large safe deposit boxes, the fledgling private vault industry is organizing itself. The National Association of Private Security Vaults was formed six months ago and now claims a membership of “over 100,” including equipment manufacturers.
One of the goals of the association, according to president Rick Drummond, is to set up standards for the industry. By setting up accreditation standards, it hopes to stave off restrictive legislation and prevent fly-by-night operations from getting into operation. The concern is that if a crooked operation were set up, the whole industry, still in its infancy, would be damaged.
(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)
I don’t know the fate of the National Association of Private Security Vaults (folded during the bust?), but I would think Drummond’s ideas- a trade organization setting up accreditation standards in an attempt to stave off restrictive legislation and combat fly-by-night outfits- might still resonate among some (many?) in the U.S. private vault industry today. Globally even? It would be interesting to hear/read the opinions of vault operators on this matter.
I haven’t received any opinions (to date), but I was informed of the recent launch of the Safe Deposit Federation, “a self-regulating federation of independent safe deposit box companies” (hat-tip U.S. Private Vaults and Glasgow Vaults). From the SDF’s website (“About Us” page):
The federation was setup to raise the standards of safekeeping facilities and ensure clients exacting standards and requirements are met.
We are the largest federation of safekeeping facilities in the world. The SDF are at the vanguard for setting the high standards in the industry. This means customers can then be assured they will receive only the highest level of service when they visit or register with any of our approved members.
I didn’t see information about current Safe Deposit Federation members on the site, but there’s a rotating banner ad at the top of each web page for “newly approved SDF member” Sovereign Safe Deposit Centres out of Harrow, a suburb of London, England. Readers may recall this private vault was named runner-up for the “World’s Best Offshore Private Vault Video” for 2015 (short program category).
Exactly what’s required of a safe deposit box facility to become a member of the Safe Deposit Federation? Under the section entitled “Criteria For Members”:
The Safe Deposit Federation (SDF) set out and lay down a number of criteria which all member companies must adhere to. This in-turn offers prospective customers the peace of mind they can expect when they register with one of our member companies.
These guidelines cover areas such as:
• Minimum security levels to be provided by member companies.
• Ensure best practice for clients of member companies.
• Guaranteed transparency in all dealings with clients.
• Assure client confidentiality at all times.
• Endorse peace of mind for all clients of member companies.
Other sections on the SDF website include “Starting Safe Deposit Facility?” and a contact page. A number of “Research” and “News” articles are also published on the site.
An interesting development, which you can learn more about by visiting the Safe Deposit Federation website here.
By Christopher E. Hill
Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes (www.offshoresafedepositboxes.com)
(Editor’s note: The above information 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.)