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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                                 14  September 2011

Gold rush fills up Malaysian bank boxes

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It's now near impossible to keep your valuables and important documents in banks.

Banks have run out of safe deposit boxes, with those applying for the facility told to “wait indefinitely”.

The problem has been made more acute with many people buying gold bars and jewellery to cash in on the rising price of the commodity and looking for places to keep them safe.

Checks with several banks revealed that the waiting list for safe deposit boxes had run into the hundreds, with a Maybank branch officer in Kuala Lumpur saying there were 700 people on the list. “I am sorry, sir, but we have no more boxes to offer. We can't give you a time frame of when you will be able to get one,'' said a bank officer.

Association of Banks Malaysia (ABM) executive director Chuah Mei Lin said the waiting list for safe deposit boxes depended on the suitability of the bank premises in terms of location, size and security.

“Banks also have to determine if there is a requisite demand for such services within the community they serve,” she said.

Due to the problem, many people are resorting to buying safes to store their valuables. An employee of a popular DIY shop in SS2 said more safes were being bought by customers, who included those operating businesses.

“I can sell about 10 to 20 safes each week.

“I have many people walking in to look for a good, dependable safe,” he added.

Depending on the size and make, the prices of safes start from RM500 to RM3,000 and above.

The rental charge for safe deposit boxes by banks are according to size.

A shoebox-sized box is usually rented out for about RM200 a year.

Due to the unavailability of the safe deposit boxes in banks, many private companies have sprouted up over the past few years offering the service.


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