ANZ transfers secret contents of safety deposit boxes to Guardian Vaults

After 127 years of holding the secret and valuable possessions of the Australian population, ANZ Bank will be closing their safety deposit vault in Queen Street and transferring the role of safe-keeping to Guardian Vaults in William Street.

As ANZ withdraw from the safety deposit box business, they are giving the owners of the 4,500 boxes the opportunity to review their prized possessions prior to the transfer. A surprisingly high number of boxes have been left untouched for decades, some even through three generations, perhaps entirely unbeknown to the rightful owners.

While most boxes will contain the likes of heirlooms, family treasures and gold, a number of more interesting items have been locked away in the vault, famously forged from British steel during Queen Victoria’s reign.

ANZ safe deposit custodian Angela Costa, responsible for overseeing the comings and goings of customers and valuables, revealed, “We had one customer, an older gentleman, come in very excited. He had stored a gold nugget, a couple of kilos, which was his retirement plan.’’

She continued to unravel the mystery of the ANZ vault with details of one box which contained an engagement ring, bought by a hopeful beau and waiting patiently for Miss Right to come along. Another box contained a solid-gold cutlery set so heavy it required trolleys to be transported in and out. Other more expected items include jewellery, photo albums and wills, all common deposit box items.

While security and privacy are guaranteed for customers using the vault, the strong arm of the law does have the power to intervene – and at times, it does. In the last year, the Australian Federal Police raided a single box holding $1.3 million of laundered cash.

Most people, of course, use safety deposit boxes to fend off criminality. In a time when home invasions and aggravated burglaries are blighting Australia’s major cities, many Australians are storing their valuables with Guardian Vaults as a precaution.

There are sure to be more interesting secrets revealed as the contents of the vault are transferred to Guardian Vaults. After 12 months, some of the boxes will become part of the ANZ Banking Museum in Collins St.

Find out more about Guardian Vaults safety deposit boxes here.

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