Comparison of Bank and Private Safe Deposit Boxes

A safe deposit box, also called security deposit box or safe locker, is a small and secured box that are usually in a vault at a bank, credit union, or a private institution. These boxes are rented out at a small yearly fee so that users can store valuables and important documents. This protects them from fire, theft, floods, and other similar natural disasters.

Typical items stored in safety deposit boxes include precious metals like gold and silver, originals of important documents, jewelry, family heirlooms and keepsakes, service records, and even digital data stored in a hard or thumb drive which are very popular with the advent of Cryptocurrencies. Of course, different institutions allow different items to be stored in their safe deposit boxes. Let us share a comparison of bank and private safe deposit boxes.

Bank Vs. Private Safe Deposit Boxes

The most common types of safe deposit boxes in Australia are bank vaults and private vault safe deposit boxes. While they essentially function the same, there are key differences which might make you prefer one over the other.


Most private vaults have a wider range of safe deposit box sizes and choices ranging from small to medium to large to very large. They also have options that can suit all budgets and sized objects.

Meanwhile, banks often only offer just two box sizes and the price range is not as extensive.


Private vaults often require only a photo ID and a proof of address should you decide to rent a box with them. This means that private operators of these vaults do not have access to any other private and financial information. Most of the time, only you will have knowledge of the existence of your safe deposit locker. Some private firms even have policies that prevent them from revealing information about their clients unless a government issued search warrant is presented.

On the other hand, banks keep private information on all their customers and they will have knowledge that you have a safe deposit box with them. If you run into arrears or difficulties with the bank, there is a risk of restricted access to your safe deposit box.


Private vaults often give their clients unlimited access to their boxes for the duration of their rental period. They also have longer operating hours. If you want to access your Safety Deposit Box (SDB), you’ll generally only need your access card, key and book an appointment.

Meanwhile, banks will only allow limited access during banking hours. Advance notice is a requirement. Moreover, some banks restrict the number of times per year or per month you can access your safe deposit box.


Private vaults are usually self-regulated and fully underwritten and insured by established underwriters. They must pass extensive Audits assuring the security of their facility and the Safety of the Boxes in their care.  It is important to you that the Government or banking institutions cannot simply seize the contents of your vault at will, as was the case for those who had safety deposit boxes in Cypriot Banks, during the financial crisis in Cyprus in 2012.

On the other hand, bank safe deposit boxes are under government regulation as well as the requirements, restrictions, and guidelines of the bank that operates it.


The most secure private vaults have security procedures that banks may not necessarily include such as Physical and Biometric access restrictions.  This may include restricted access to the building, bio-metric fingerprint reading, facial recognition, palm venous software (currently one of the most reliable), along with live security monitoring.  This ensures only you can access your box and the items inside.

Insurance-wise, private vaults often offer full insurance cover for your safe deposit box and all its contents. In many cases as your valuable goods are stored in a high security facility this can also reduce your personal home policy insurance. Check with your insurer broker regarding your specific case.

Banks, on the other hand, do not offer additional insurance on safe deposit boxes. Often, they request clients put the contents of their box on their home insurance policy even when the goods are help at a bank.

Please contact Private Vaults Australia to see how we can assist you.

Are Private Safe Deposit Boxes For You?

While it all boils down to personal preference, but after a comparison of bank and private safe deposit boxes, going to a private and secure institution is the better option for you especially if you are concerned with privacy, safety, access, security, and insurance of your safe deposit box.

If you want to keep your precious items safe from fire, natural disasters, theft, and other untoward incidents, then look no further than Private Vaults Australia. Our facility is among the safest in the world so your valuables stay secure no matter what.

What’s more, we also offer safety deposit box services all over Australia so no matter where you are in the country, we can give you a Secure Space for Your Peace of Mind.


Peter Hobson

My background involves the ownership of many businesses including owning and running multiple Chiropractic offices but mainly focused in Nerang on the Gold Coast for 30 Years.

I have a passion for accumulating and holding Bullion and have done so for many years. My extensive Business skills and Bullion knowledge makes it easy to assist others buying, selling and storing their Bullion.

Peter and Cassie work together to assist anyone from the experienced Bullion Investors to the complete novice. They are here to answer any questions to help you.

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