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- International Bank Vaults is opening a new location in London that will be home to the most expensive safety deposit boxes in the British capital and will only serve billionaires, The Guardian reported.
- Clients will be chauffeured to and from the vault, which is located in a gothic mansion with views of Hyde Park, in a Rolls-Royce owned by the bank, according to The Guardian.
- Precious metals including gold have received more attention from billionaire investors in 2019 amid increased market volatility.
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Some ultrawealthy people are moving their fortunes out of the stock market as recession fears mount – and a new billionaires-only bank vault is opening in London to accommodate their new investments.
Located in a mansion next to the Dorchester Hotel on London’s ritzy Park Lane, the bank will be home to the most expensive safety deposit boxes in the British capital when it opens next week, The Guardian‘s Rupert Neate reported. The smallest boxes, just 2 inches tall, 6 inches wide, and 19 inches deep, will be rented for $776 (£600) annually, according to The Guardian. A box twice that size at department store Harrod’s, which is currently the most expensive place to store your valuables in London, goes for $601 (£465) a year, according to The Guardian.
Not everyone who can afford a box and the precious metals to fill it will be able to lease one, however. “We won’t deal with millionaires,” the vault’s managing director Sean Hoey told The Guardian. “We will be dealing only with billionaires.” The firm behind the bank, International Bank Vaults, told The Guardian that the vault had also had “a few inquiries” from billionaires willing to pay $3.2 million (£2.5 million) annually to rent an entire room for their gold collection.
Billionaire investors are paying more attention to gold amid increased market volatility
Billionaire real estate investor Sam Zell told Bloomberg in January that he invested in gold for the first time in 2019, saying he believed the precious metal was “a good hedge” as the worldwide supply shrinks. Billionaire hedge-fund manager Paul Tudor Jones told Bloomberg in June that gold “has everything going for it.”
The new vault will likely be heavily armored to accommodate its precious cargo. It was built with steel walls to prevent thieves from tunneling in, The Guardian reported. IBV’s other vaults, located in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and South Africa, feature bullet-resistant glass, closed-circuit surveillance, dual-key systems, biometric readers, and seismic detection, according to the company’s website.
International Bank Vaults didn’t immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on the features, costs, or procedures of the new vault.
The vault’s features aren’t limited to security
It was also designed to feel more like an “exclusive private members club than a bank,” Hoey told The Guardian. The gothic mansion that houses the vault, known as Stanhope House, was built in 1910 for soap manufacturer Mr. R.W. Hudson and has views of Hyde Park, according to a database of London buildings called Buildington. IBV also purchased a Rolls-Royce to chauffeur clients to and from the vault and hired “white-gloved custodians” to help them with their belongings.
High-end safety deposit boxes aren’t the only place the ultrawealthy are turning to stash their fortunes. They’re also stockpiling cash, embracing ETFs, ditching bonds, and paying down their debts, financial planners for ultra-high net worth individuals previously told Business Insider: Protecting and growing their existing fortunes is billionaires’ primary financial concern, Ashley Folkes, a certified financial planner and the senior vice president of Arizona wealth-management firm Moors & Cabot, told Business Insider.
Their fears may be well-founded. Morgan Stanley warned in August that a recession may be imminent despite stimulus efforts by the central banks of the US, China, and Germany, Markets Insider’s Daniel Strauss previously reported.
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