Greeks Can’t Tap Cash, Gold, Silver In Bank Safety Deposit Boxes

GoldCore's picture

Greeks Can’t Tap Cash, Gold, Silver In Bank Safety Deposit Boxes

- Greek capital controls also prevent access to contents of safe deposit boxes
- Restrictions on safe deposit access doesn’t protect banking system unless contents confiscated
- Readers should heed warnings by Marc Faber and Ian Spreadbury of Fidelity
- Important to own assets outside banking system and not in bank safe deposit boxes
- Own physical bullion in private safety deposit boxes and the safest private vaults

Capital controls have been in place in Greece since the start of the month to protect the banks from mass withdrawals by nervous Greeks. They have rightly been concerned about their savings, the collapse of the banking system and the loss of their savings in deposit confiscations or bail-ins.

Pic 2 - SDB

Many Greeks were also withdrawing their cash because they fear the country might be forced back onto the drachma. However a little known fact is that, Greeks who had prepared for bank runs by withdrawing cash and buying gold and silver bullion and then lodging that bullion and indeed cash into safety deposit boxes have also been caught up in the draconian capital controls.

We have warned about this for many years and warned as recently as April this year that people should avoid using safety deposit boxes in banks.

“Greeks cannot withdraw cash left in safe deposit boxes at Greek banks as long as capital restrictions remain in place”, Nadia Valavani, a Deputy Finance Minister in Greece told local television station according to a Reuters report.

The report (Greeks cannot tap cash in safe deposit boxes under capital controls) was little noticed at it was published on the less trafficked ‘Bonds’ section of on Sunday July 5th at 1:58 pm EDT or 6:58 pm GMT. Sunday afternoon and evening is a time when traders, investors and even eagle eyed news junkies are likely to be taking a well earned break.

The notion that safe deposit boxes – facilities that are used by many precious metals investors and others seeking to safeguard their wealth and valuables – need to come under capital controls to protect against bank runs is a dubious one.

This cash is not in the banking system – its withdrawal would have no negative impact on the system. Its availability to its owner might bring cash into circulation which would benefit the wider community.

The only reason to put access to safe deposit boxes under capital controls – measures which were agreed between the government and the banks – is because the banks and governments wish to retain the option of confiscating the contents of those boxes should the crisis deepen.

The low level war on cash and gold looks set to intensify, and governments look likely to wish to prevent savers and investors taking their cash out of the bank and putting them in safe deposit boxes.
This draconian move may be part of an endeavour to do that.

Safety deposit boxes are a convenient facility to store a small quantity of precious metals. However – as the Greek situation demonstrates – the convenience of ease of access to a local safe deposit box can be offset by the fact that governments and banks can lay claim to their contents at the stroke of a pen.

It would be unwise to view Greece as an exceptional case.

Such complacency is not shared by respected economic historian Marc Faber who recently warned Bloomberg viewers that “Greece is coming to your neighbourhood very soon” because “the world is over-indebted”.

This view has been echoed by many well placed observers from HSBC, Goldman Sachs and Fidelity in recent months. Most recently Fidelity’s Ian Spreadbury made the highly unorthodox recommendation that savers should keep some precious metals and cash “under the mattress”.

What happens next in Greece will determine the fate of the deposit box holders and indeed all citizens in Greece and indeed the wider Eurozone.

The ECB, reneging on its duty of lender of last resort, has put Syriza in an untenable position. It should be remembered that Mario Draghi came to the ECB from Goldman Sachs despite the fact that Goldman were found to have aided the previous Greek government in order to cook the books in order to borrow €1 billion that it could not afford in 2008 and indeed to join the monetary union. Indeed it is alleged the Draghi himself helped cook the books but he denies this and says Goldman did this prior to his joining.

The Telegraph’s AEP writes, “The Greek banks are on the verge of collapse. There is not enough cash left to cover ATM withdrawals of €60 billion each day through this week, or to cover weekly payments of €120 to pensioners and the unemployed – that is the to say, the tiny fraction of the jobless who receive anything at all.”

In the run up to the referendum former Finance Minister Varoufakis had made assurances that the EU had no legal power to expel Greece from the euro – a statement which likely encouraged the electorate to vote “No”. True though this may be, the EU institutions have instead created the conditions whereby Greece either capitulates completely or is forced to leave the euro of its own accord.

The “deal” which Tsipras must now get through parliament in Athens may save the banking system for now – or not, depending on the reaction of the public to the deal – but at great cost to Greece.

Pensions will will be slashed, Value Added Tax (VAT) or sales tax will be imposed on goods and services.

Vital elements of Greece’s infrastructure will be sold off to businesses with close links to the financial institutions who played a key role in creating the crisis – and yet have only benefitted from the repercussions – following the typical IMF template for debt colonialism.

Whatever the outcome with regards to the contents of safe deposit boxes in Greece – while not forgetting that there are far more pressing issues at stake for the people of Greece and Greek society – there is a clear lesson from recent events.

As we consistently warn gold, silver and cash stored within the financial and banking system is in no way secure in the event of a crisis.

Investors should hold some physical gold and silver outside of the banking system in secure and private safe deposit box facilities. Precious metals should also be held in jurisdictions with a reputation for respecting private property such as Switzerland, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Must-read Guide:  7 Key Gold Must Haves



Today’s AM LBMA Gold Price was USD 1,153.20, EUR 1,046.89 and GBP 745.27 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM LBMA Gold Price was USD 1,154.95, EUR 1,043.13 and GBP 741.59 per ounce. 

Pic 1 - Chart1
Silver in USD – 5 Years

Gold fell $5.10 or 0.44 percent yesterday to $1,157.90 an ounce. Silver slipped $0.08 or 0.51 percent to $15.50 an ounce.

Gold in Singapore for immediate delivery ticked lower and gold in Switzerland also weakened despite considerable uncertainty regarding the Greek “deal”.

Gold prices are down for a second day after ending yesterday down half a percent in dollar terms but 1% higher in euro terms as the euro fell on international markets. Support is at $1,155 and that level is holding for now.

Asian shares were  mixed and future contracts tracking China’s key stock indexes fell sharply, suggesting a three-day rebound may be losing momentum.

European stocks are lower today on concerns that Tsipras may not be able to get the debt deal over the line in the Greek parliament. Even if he does, his government may not last long thereafter and a subsequent Greek government may elect to honour the will of the Greek people and rip up what most fair minded people see as a very unfair and completely impractical “bail out”.

Euro zone finance ministers will hold a telephone conference to discuss Greek bridge financing tomorrow, Austria’s finance minister said on today. It does not necessarily need a euro group summit to agree on bridge financing, Hans Joerg Schelling said. “If a reasonable proposal comes up, the euro zone finance ministers probably can decide about it in a conference call,” Schelling said.

The  world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, New York-listed SPDR Gold Shares, rise 1.5 tonnes on Monday, its first inflow since June 25.

Silver’s underperforming, down 1%, putting it on track for a fourth straight week of losses – if it ends this week in the red, it will have fallen in eight out of the last nine weeks.

Platinum and palladium are also marginally weaker, after both bucked the falling trend in gold and silver yesterday to rise 0.3% and 1.2% respectively.

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Lin S's picture

Two questions for the ZH round table:

1. Are the contents of a safe deposit box in the U.S. the property of the bank? An employee of Calfornia Numismatic Investments once told me "only deposits in a numbered account are the property of the bank, but the contents of a safety deposit box are the property of the person paying for it."

True or not true as of 7/14/2015?

2. What other option does someone who doesn't own a home (i.e. apartment renter) have for secure storage of PM's?

As other posters have pointed out, private vaults carry risks, too.

Thanks for any info...

August's picture

I'll bite:

As of 7/14/15, the content of a bank box remains your property, not the bank's or the government's.  HOWEVER, the government / bank have both defacto control, and legal authority, to restrict your access to said property.  In an extreme situation, by the time you are granted access to the contents, they may in fact no longer belong to you, due to newly enacted regs / laws.

IMHO a renter would be best served by using a private vault.  Sure, you could store PMs in all sorts of places, but when you do this on property to which you don't control access, there is always the chance of a very unpleasant surprise.

Lin S's picture

Thank you for clarifying this matter, August. I sincerely appreciate your time and the shared information.

silverer's picture

If you see three people walking down the street, two of them are criminals.

f16hoser's picture

Greeks have to be the Dumbest Fuckers on the Planet. How many months have they had to get their assets out of the banks? Hint: a bunch. I admire Banksters; they can conquer a country without firing a single shot. Weird.

silverer's picture

I'll have to state maybe the second or third dumbest fuckers on the planet.  I heard there's some place where the population elected a golfer with no experience to run their country.

Dog Will Hunt's picture

A golfer?  More like the PGA of stupidity.  

Anglo Hondo's picture

A good friend, a Greek citizen, intended to visit with me next week, during a business trip.  Flights booked and paid for. 

His trip is off because he cannot get to his passport which he keeps in his safety deposit box at his bank, along with birth certificates and many other important papers, including his tax papers, which means he also cannot pay his taxes.

Someone didn't think this through, and he is not the only one.  Greece is screwed by their own government's actions.


Hongcha's picture

What breed of ratfuckers would do this to the average citizen?  Are they actually going to riffle through their boxes.  

Model T's picture
Model T (not verified) Anglo Hondo Jul 14, 2015 7:01 PM

That;s terrible. What's the matter with the Greek Parliament ? Why are they allowing laws like this ? Why don't they just stop alll this shit ? 

nosam's picture
nosam (not verified) Model T Jul 15, 2015 4:54 AM

All the Greek leaders are part of the cabal. They just pretend to care about the Greek people.

astoriajoe's picture

just curious if there is any anecdotal confirmation of this?

Have people tried to open their safe deposit boxes? If so, were bank employees forced to view contents? Did they do an inventory? Can I get thumb drive with important documents on it, but not the cash?

Or are the boxes just closed until further notice?

RazorForex's picture

Guys, stop ignoring the obvious. Bitcoin and digital currencies are the way of the future. Much easier to store and transport. No vaults, no bank accounts, no secret holes in the ground are need to safely transport a digital currency in the event of capital controls.

83_vf_1100_c's picture

Are you just a clever bot or a troll. Did you read the article? The internet can be taken away much easier than locking the doors on a bank. Or, just selected domains or geographical areas. Where's your bitcoin then?

Truly Inspiration's picture

Yes, especially if you have a nice CME from the sun and your digital world has just vanished in a second.


northern vigor's picture

Iran would never create an EMP over the US eastern seaboard, detonating  a nuke on a passenger jet, 25,000 feet over Virginia...knocking out the grid, the military, the GPS, and all telecommunictions including the internet from Miami to Toronto to St Louis.... Never. Obama signed a paper.

p00k1e's picture

What’ll happen if Greek Authorities start sweeping hard drives and flash drives with powerful magnets?       

JustUsChickensHere's picture

Nothing. You do have offsite back up dont you? (internationally offsite of course)

WarPony's picture

"Can you put it in my hand?" Ole family saying.


p00k1e's picture

Well, ZH posters did warn them.  But, you know those low IQ types.     

Zero Point's picture

They're still lined up at fucking ATMs with sheep looks on their muppet faces.

Pancho de Villa's picture
Pancho de Villa (not verified) Jul 14, 2015 1:23 PM

The Shit has Hit the Fan in Greece!


It's inevitable that it will in the US. It's only a matter of When, not If!

Limbs Akimbo's picture


Uh..for those of you that tout the private vaults being 'safer' than bank vaults, remember...about five years or so ago a private vault in the U.K. was raided because of suspected drug and terrorist money being kept there.

EVERYTHING was seized and it was up to the people to prove they were not drug cartel or terrorist supporters.

Only a few cases turned out to be connected with unlawful activity. But it made for a great opportunity for the police to 'inventory' all the boxes.

nosam's picture

"about five years or so ago a private vault in the U.K. was raided because of suspected drug and terrorist money being kept there."

This is why boating accidents were created.

KnightTakesKing's picture

You need to think like TPTB. What is the one thing that TPTB does not want? Everyone to keep their own cash and PMs hidden on their own properties. Makes mass collection/confiscation almost impossible.

Tip: lose your cash and PMs in a boating accident that only you know where its sunk/hidden/buried.

northern vigor's picture

Keep a safe with a few coins in it, to open for them one day...keep the hoard  buried else where..

SmittyinLA's picture

German deal to Greece" 

Give up soveignty. 

  • Accept mass immigration and EU seeking refugees-eat the entire cost.  
  • Give up control over own immigration. 
  • Allow EU to collect taxes from Greeks all over the EU and the entire tax treaty globe. <ethnic taxes on Greeks for Greek state liabilities anywhere>
  • Pay to bailout German banks at war with your trading partners. 
  • Pay to bailout French banks, Italian banks, Portugal banks. 
  • Cut all benefits to Greek citizens who aren't indigent (only poor regfugees & immigrants). 
  • Borrow more debt every year. 
  • Rent increases every year-forever. 
  • African & Islamic welfare conscription-forever. 

Funny thing is the current government was appointed by the sub-prime creditors that invested in Greek assets for political reasons, Syriza the free shit spendthrift party was elected on a bridge loan from the creditors-the very banks that Syriza demonizes.

The Syriza leadership, I surmise gets paid under the table by creditors by the volume of debt they create. 

Those transnational bankers invested for political purposes, not an actual return. Bankruptcy of the Greek state and sovereignty obliteration was the creditors objective all along.

Greece is a sovereign state, they need to write their own bankruptcy law and implement it with the caveat they can't spend more than they collect in taxes -ever again. 

Government cannot be a looting enterpise anymore.  


Lin S's picture


Always enjoy your posts, Smitty.

cheech_wizard's picture

Fools and their bank deposits are soon parted...


robertocarlos's picture

Should have read Zerohedge. Any property inside the bank, belongs to the bank.

Can't blame the Greeks too much though, they have almost no chance of having a boating accident.

lakecity55's picture

Greeks can't tap the PMs, but I bet the Banksters can!!

Conax's picture

Silver and gold? They wouldn't want to sell that right now anyway.  The control algos are having some serious sex with both of them today.

They must have uzo for brains to keep it at the bank, just the same.

mendigo's picture

If you keep cash or gold and police find it it will disappear.

The noose is tightening.

Amun's picture

Not an Italian type of a mistake - Swiss Banks north of the Italian border have long ago run out of deposit boxes

SilvertonguedAngel's picture

Ben Dover let me Greece you up.

Colonel Klink's picture

They're "BANK" safety deposit boxes.  Remember under US law, deposits are now the possession of the bank and are considered a loan to them.  If it sits in the bank, deposit box or otherwise, it's not in your possession but theirs.

Stupid is as stupid does!

EDIT:  3...2...1... before the Supreme (riotous laughter) Kourt ruling that since the word "deposit" exists in the name of safety deposit box, means that everything is owned by the bank.

Bemused Observer's picture

Anyone at this point who still trusts any bank, either with deposits or by using their "safe boxes" is beyond all hope. No amount of warning will help these people. They will only learn when they have lost it all.

Some people just have to have everything stolen before they see the need to take precautions. You can't feel sorry for them at this point, or try to warn them. Complete and total pity is the only appropriate response when they start crying about what they've lost. Until that happens they are deaf to you.

To Hell In A Handbasket's picture

I agree 100%. Only a fool of Herculean proportions would leave physical silver, or gold under the stewardship of the banks. lol. But alas Greece has these people in abundance, starting with Tsipras.

semperfi's picture

people trust banks - yet another data point to support the theory that humans are the dumbest species on the planet

secretargentman's picture

If you don't hold it...

flyingpigg's picture

Very misleading to call it a safety deposit box...Government deposit boxes Bitchez!

Prober's picture
Prober (not verified) Jul 14, 2015 10:52 AM

FACT: ANYTHING that you keep in a safe deposit box belongs to the regime in power on demand.

redd_green's picture

Oh YEAH.  State governments break into, sieze and sell the contents of safe deposit boxes all the effing time:




Perimetr's picture

I don't keep my precious metals or cash at the bank . . . but I don't really like any better the idea of putting valuables in Switzerland, whose banks are reportedly being sued for billions for stealing allocated gold accounts. 

Frankly, I also find it hard to be excited about putting money in banks on the other side of the Pacific.  It's not like I can just run over there and get it, or even go over and meet the people who will be in charge of it.  Everybody who wants to steal your money can be very nice.  Just ask the investors who liked Bernie Maddoff.

We are well on our way to a totalitarian society here in the US, the guns and camps are in place, the Constitution has been set aside, all we need is a false flag event to get things rolling.  I would rather be in possession of my stufy when the shit hits the fan, than have it 7000 miles away in another country, where I don't speak the language, and can't even afford to visit.


1033eruth's picture

You missed a crucial part in the article - I have no idea why.  Private vaults do not report to Uncle Fraud.  And yes, there is such thing, although I only know of one.  Regular banks are "chartered" and toe the line.  Private vaults have ZERO to do with banking and all the rest of the rules and regs that go with it.  

cynicalskeptic's picture

I suspect that ANY centralized 'vault' will simply end up as a convenient 'collection point' if (when) government decides to confiscate any 'illegal' private holdings - be they of now outlawed cash, gold, silver, jewels or whatever.

History has shown that desperate governments - of any kind - will resort to confiscation of privately held wealth starting with those that have the least.  The poor simply see their government allotments disappear and  end up as the poor always have been.   The moderately successful are hurt the most - they've managed to save something and usually end up losing everything.  The truly wealthy always seen to end up exempt or manage to evade such efforts - but then they are the ones doing the looting in coillusion with government (or I should say using government to do the looting for them).  The billionaires have all kinds of places to hide their riches that are beyond the reach of mere goverment.   The dentist trying to shelter $50,000 has reason to fear the IRS et al - billionaires like the Koch Brothers or Walton family have nothing to worry about.

As in 'War Games' - the only winning move - at least for the average person - is simply not to play the game, but gov does not tke kindly to those that try and escape its authority.


August's picture

>>>I suspect that ANY centralized 'vault' will simply end up as a convenient 'collection point'....

I share your suspicion.  We each have to make our own judgement calls when it comes to the storage of valuables, and there are many sub-issues.   For one, I believe gold is much more likely to be the subject of controls or confiscation than is silver, as well as being much easier to hide in a non-vault environment, such as a lake bed.

J Jason Djfmam's picture

PVC pipe post-hole ground vault?

semperfi's picture

the first rule about private vaults is you don't talk about private vaults

1033eruth's picture

I don't know if you're making a joke or trying to make a distinction.  Private as in not a public company aka publicly traded bank.  There are "private" vaults where you can rent space just like at a bank.  "Private", not to be confused with "Personal".  

Recently, I tried to open an account at a new bank and I'm retired.  They refused to do so unless I divulged what I retired from.  I'm not kidding.  Nothing but a bunch of fucking robot nazis that essentially work for the government.  Those types of questions are because of the PATRIOT ACT.  Has nothing to do with stopping terrorism and everything to do with imposing more control and infringing on more freedoms and liberties.  Nothing irks me more than bank employees that have been turned into government zombies.  They don't know why they do what they do, they just do it.