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The Boston Globe

Business

The disappearing allure of the safe deposit box

It’s the little box that holds some of the most prized possessions in a bank: customers’ indispensable documents, their heirloom jewelry, or even their family’s antique vase.

But the safe deposit box, once a staple of any bank branch, has itself become an antique. Banks are reporting that safe deposit box use is on the decline, with occupancy rates dropping quickly as customers buy home safes, digitize and store documents electronically, and, in this era of conspicuous consumption, prefer to display their valuables rather than stash them away for special occasions.

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