A Birmingham firm is bridging a yawning gap in the banking world – and offering peace of mind to customers with valuables to store.
Vittoria Safeboxes has been set up in the Jewellery Quarter to help tackle security fears among householders throughout the region seeking storage for gold, jewels and other valuable possessions.
The new facility, which opened just before Christmas, has already attracted wealthy clientele, including well-heeled lawyers, accountants and footballers seeking a safe refuge for their valuables.
Vittoria Safeboxes is housed in the Jewellery Quarter on Vittoria Street, opposite the Ramgarhia Sikh Temple, after the banking crisis led to the withdrawal of traditional safety deposit boxes.
In a little publicised spin-off from the banking meltdown dating back to the bailouts of autumn 2008, many high street banks are now asking their customers to remove valuables from deposit boxes as they withdraw the service. The cutbacks have left thousands of people in a quandary, at a loss where they can now store their possessions.
Director Harvinder Chatha said: “We feel we are filling a gap left by the banks and giving customers peace of mind in providing a secure location to store their valuables.
“It is a new string to our bow. We have numerous business concerns but have recognised that this facility would be needed in the community because high street banks have withdrawn their services.
“A lot of people have been worried about where to store their valuables other than at home. With burglars around, that is not always a good choice.
“We distributed thousands of leaflets to local businesses and professionals, the facility opened just before Christmas and has proved very popular. It is as good, if not better than, a bank, as it is on the fringes of the Jewellery Quarter.
“The Asian community tends to have a lot of gold and jewellery for the large weddings they attend, we have Chinese and European clients – there are lawyers and accountants, and one or two footballers.”
Mr Chatha said Vittoria Safeboxes offered four different prices depending on the goods stored, from £200 to £600. The smallest size is suitable for cash and jewellery, while the largest will accommodate documents and large family heirlooms.
The new purpose-built facility is open seven days a week and the firm says it offers the security of any modern bank, with CCTV, alarms and a huge vault which houses the deposit boxes.
“The facility can be accessed seven days a week. This is a long-established family firm with a number of interests and we are very pleased with the way that this has gone.”
Vittoria Safeboxes is covered by Lloyds of London and is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.