• Member Statistics

    • 863,867 Colleagues-to-Date [Sponsored by a generous R&D grant from iMBA, Inc.]
  • ME-P Information & Content Channels

  • ME-P Archives Silo [2006 – 2021]

  • Ann Miller RN MHA [Managing Editor]

    USNews.com, Reuters.com,
    News Alloy.com,
    and Congress.org

    Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners(TM)

    Product Details

    Product Details

    Product Details


    New "Self-Directed" Study Option SinceJanuary 1, 2020
  • Most Recent ME-Ps

  • PodiatryPrep.org

    Lower Extremity Trauma
    [Click on Image to Enlarge]

  • ME-P Free Advertising Consultation

    The “Medical Executive-Post” is about connecting doctors, health care executives and modern consulting advisors. It’s about free-enterprise, business, practice, policy, personal financial planning and wealth building capitalism. We have an attitude that’s independent, outspoken, intelligent and so Next-Gen; often edgy, usually controversial. And, our consultants “got fly”, just like U. Read it! Write it! Post it! “Medical Executive-Post”. Call or email us for your FREE advertising and sales consultation TODAY [770.448.0769]

    Product Details

    Product Details

  • Medical & Surgical e-Consent Forms

  • iMBA R&D Services

    Commission a Subject Matter Expert Report [$2500-$9999]January 1, 2020
    Medical Clinic Valuations * Endowment Fund Management * Health Capital Formation * Investment Policy Statement Analysis * Provider Contracting & Negotiations * Marketplace Competition * Revenue Cycle Enhancements; and more! HEALTHCARE FINANCIAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
  • iMBA Inc., OFFICES

    Suite #5901 Wilbanks Drive, Norcross, Georgia, 30092 USA [1.770.448.0769]. Our location is real and we are now virtually enabled to assist new long distance clients and out-of-town colleagues.

  • ME-P Publishing


    If you want the opportunity to work with leading health care industry insiders, innovators and watchers, the “ME-P” may be right for you? We are unbiased and operate at the nexus of theoretical and applied R&D. Collaborate with us and you’ll put your brand in front of a smart & tightly focused demographic; one at the forefront of our emerging healthcare free marketplace of informed and professional “movers and shakers.” Our Ad Rate Card is available upon request [770-448-0769].

  • Reader Comments, Quips, Opinions, News & Updates

  • Start-Up Advice for Businesses, DRs and Entrepreneurs

    ImageProxy “Providing Management, Financial and Business Solutions for Modernity”
  • Up-Trending ME-Ps

  • Capitalism and Free Enterprise Advocacy

    Whether you’re a mature CXO, physician or start-up entrepreneur in need of management, financial, HR or business planning information on free markets and competition, the "Medical Executive-Post” is the online place to meet for Capitalism 2.0 collaboration. Support our online development, and advance our onground research initiatives in free market economics, as we seek to showcase the brightest Next-Gen minds. THE ME-P DISCLAIMER: Posts, comments and opinions do not necessarily represent iMBA, Inc., but become our property after submission. Copyright © 2006 to-date. iMBA, Inc allows colleges, universities, medical and financial professionals and related clinics, hospitals and non-profit healthcare organizations to distribute our proprietary essays, photos, videos, audios and other documents; etc. However, please review copyright and usage information for each individual asset before submission to us, and/or placement on your publication or web site. Attestation references, citations and/or back-links are required. All other assets are property of the individual copyright holder.
  • OIG Fraud Warnings

    Beware of health insurance marketplace scams OIG's Most Wanted Fugitives at oig.hhs.gov

Bank Safety Deposit Boxes; Not So Safe After All?

 Not Really a Safe – SAFE?

By Rick Kahler CFP®

I have routinely recommended that people use a bank safe deposit box to store valuable papers and small assets. These include documents like wills, trust documents, ethical wills, and unrecorded deeds. Valuable assets would include diamonds, gemstones, jewelry, bullion, and small collectables like rare coins, stamps, and trading cards.

The physical protection of a bank vault, plus a system of access requiring two keys kept by the customer and the bank, would seem to provide a great deal of security. Yet several recent news articles suggest safe deposit boxes may not be as safe as they seem.


An article in the New York Times reported 44 robberies in the last five years related to safe deposit boxes. Even worse were numerous bank errors in which boxes were moved, misplaced, drilled open, or closed by mistake. A large Maryland bank closed several branches and lost hundreds of safe deposit boxes. One customer lost $500,000 worth of gold and gems.

In each case, banks vigorously fought any requirement to make their customers whole. Even more shocking, no provision of federal banking law regulates safe deposit boxes.

Nor do banks insure the belongings of customers who trustingly store their most precious valuables in safe deposit boxes. The  risks fall on the renter. Wells Fargo’s safe deposit box contract caps the bank’s liability at $500. Citigroup limits it to 500 times the box’s annual rent. JPMorgan Chase has a $25,000 ceiling on its liability.



My Story

Decades ago, I placed some rare coins in a safe deposit box with a local bank. A few years ago I went to retrieve my valuables, only to find the bank had drilled open the box and sent the contents to the state as abandoned property. I learned that when I relocated my office, the change of address notification failed to carry through to the annual billing notice for the safe deposit box fee. After three years of non-payment, the bank chose to go through the effort of drilling open the box and shipping the contents to the State Treasurer’s office. It would have been simpler to spend a few minutes looking up my information and contacting me.

Eventually I was able to retrieve the contents of the box. I was lucky.

An international expert in rare watches stored 92 watches plus rare coins, worth millions, in a safe deposit box at a Wells Fargo bank branch. Wells Fargo had evicted another customer for non-payment and drilled open the wrong safe deposit box. The customer found his “safe” deposit box empty. Wells Fargo executives could only find 85 of his watches.

The customer sued. Wells Fargo admitted in court that its employees had mistakenly drilled into and terminated the box. The unrecovered items included gold coins and a watch estimated to be worth nearly a million dollars. After years of litigation and appeals, Wells Fargo has offered no restitution.

If a “safe” deposit box isn’t really safe, what can you do instead?

Here are a few suggestions.

1. Consider investing in a high-quality home safe for small valuables and important documents.

2. Scan all important documents and save copies in a secure online “vault.” Many financial planners provide such online backup storage.

3. If you do use a safe deposit box, choose one at the bank you use regularly and open it at least once a year.

4. No matter where you keep your valuables, insure them adequately. Standard homeowner coverage is probably not enough.

5. Share passwords and access codes with another trusted person.

Finally, ask before you store. Understand a bank’s policies and coverage limits before you trust it with your valuables.


Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com


Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™


One Response

  1. WF

    Wells Fargo “collected millions of dollars in fees and interest to which [it] was not entitled, harmed the credit ratings of certain customers, and unlawfully misused customers’ sensitive personal information,” according to the Justice Department, which announced on Feb. 21 that the banking company has agreed to pay an additional $3 billion to settle potential charges stemming from its unauthorized creation of several million customer accounts between 2002–16. Fees and penalties in relation to this scam alone had already totaled more than half a billion dollars.

    Good news, right? That looks like accountability, and $3 billion is a lot of dough. But that $3 billion represents only a small part of the bank’s takings from just this one scam—including customer money to which, by its own admission, it “was not entitled.”* From that perspective, the DOJ basically caught a gang of thieves and let them scoot right back to their den with most of the loot. Worse still, criminal prosecutions—for a bank that openly admits it stole money from its own customers—are off the table for now: “The criminal investigation into false bank records and identity theft is being resolved with a deferred prosecution agreement in which Wells Fargo will not be prosecuted during the three-year term of the agreement.”



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: