Safe-Deposit Box Facility Opens Off Orchard Road

Monday, Jan 18 2016 10:17 PM

Singapore – SAFE deposit box users will no longer need to go to a bank to rent safety deposit boxes, with the opening of a European-standard vault just off Orchard Road. Vault@268 opens its automated and robotic services with 1,964 boxes up for grabs – as a 24-hour service for those who want to store anything from documents and jewellery to gold bullion. The smaller of two sizes, at 325mm x 235mm x 137mm, can take up to two 12.4kg gold bars (weight capacity is 30kg) or S$8 million in 1000 dollars notes.

Executive Director Charlene Kang points out that off-site storage is the tried method against home invasion and fire. In Singapore, the influx of nouveau riche has created a demand for private vaults, and then many banks in the central Singapore have also closed branches or reduced their safety deposit box storage because of scarcity of space. Ms Kang says that she first came across the Swedish-based Gunnebo safety deposit box system in Europe, and decided to bring it into Singapore. The S$4.5 million investment in investment in the business took at least three years to execute. It was done as a joint venture with the landlord, Ngee Ann Development Pte Ltd, which constructed 268 Orchard Road, the former Yen San building, to specifications for the vault. 

The state-of-the-art system sees clients going through four security measures to get to their safety deposit boxes with the use of access card, biometric access system, pin number and personal keys. "And as the whole system is automated, that enables clients to use anytime in 24 hours" Ms Kang says. The security level for this system is No 8, out for 12 as graded by the European Safety Security Association. That's the highest grade for civilian use. Levels nine to 12 are military standards.

While the idea of using a safety deposit box not administered by a bank might seem to be less safe, Ms Kang says that in fact, it's more secure because this is a specialized job for a facility management company with such as Vault@268. "Licensing and regulation of safety deposit boxes in fact does not come under Monetary Authority of Singapore's purview"

Ms Kang expects her non-business clients to live in District 9 to 11, while business clients to be those looking for offsite storage of sensitive material. Rental for the boxes start at $888 a year.

By Cheah Ui-Hoon | Tuesday, 21 April, 2015

Source: The Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

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