National Bank Stops Offering New Safety Deposit Box 

Starting November 1, 2023, National Bank stopped offering new safety deposit boxes, which let customers stash their prized possessions or important papers at the bank. 

It’s the first major Canadian bank to make this move. 

The bank takes this decision because fewer people are into safety deposit boxes lately. Besides, the fees generated by safety deposit boxes aren’t a huge moneymaker. 

At National Bank, the annual fees for an existing box can range from $60 to $300, depending on its size. Plus, there’s some risk involved—boxes can be stolen or damaged.

If you’re already in a safety deposit box relationship with National Bank, don’t worry—you can keep your box. They’re not taking that away from you. But if you were hoping to start a new safety deposit box affair with National Bank, you’re out of luck.

The move by the National Bank isn’t a big surprise, according to finance professor Claire Célérier. Banks are getting more digital, and physical stuff, like safety deposit boxes, just isn’t as essential. 

With the rise of online banking, the need to protect physical assets isn’t a priority anymore. There are also other security services available now, like home alarm systems connected to safes.

This shift away from safety deposit boxes isn’t unique to Canada. In the UK, big banks like Barclays stopped offering them nearly ten years ago, and the trend has caught on in the US too, with institutions like JPMorgan Chase making the same move. 

Claire Célérier predicts that other Canadian banks might follow National Bank’s lead, but not all. Some banks might still keep the safety deposit box flame burning for a specific clientele who rely on the bank to safeguard their valuable items.

Source: The Canadian Press

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