About us

Metropolitan Safe Deposits is based on traditional values of trust, honesty, reliability and service but has a modern attitude evidenced in our long opening hours and our approachable staff.

They are always available to answer any queries or make arrangements on your behalf, from the moment you consider opening an account. The process complies with all legal requirements but is actually straightforward: you simply need to provide evidence of your identity (a passport, for example), where you live (utility bills and bank statements are commonly produced) and, if you are not an EU citizen, proof that you are compliant with British Home Office guidelines.

Open about ownership

We were pioneers of the trend for openness about our history and ownership. The company was formed in 1983 and incorporates The London Safe Deposit Company, which was founded in the 1930s.

In March 2007, the business was sold to a group of private investors led by Christopher Barrow, a former investment banker who is now our chief executive and largest shareholder. In February 2012, London-based private equity firm Calculus Capital acquired a significant minority stake. Calculus sold their interest in September 2016 to a group of private individuals comprising both existing and new shareholders. All the shareholders are personal friends of Christopher Barrow and have successful business backgrounds mainly in investment banking, investment management and property development.

About us

The Board of Directors

Paul Selway-Swift has been non-executive chairman and a shareholder of our holding company, Metropolitan Safe Custody, since 2007. He spent many years in the financial services industry with the HSBC group, latterly as deputy chairman of their investment bank. He now has a portfolio of non-executive directorships in the UK and abroad.

Christopher Barrow spent nearly 30 years in equity research, investment banking and asset management in Asia and the UK, most recently working for Dresdner Kleinwort as country head in India and head of client services in London. He led the acquisition of Metropolitan in 2007 and, as chief executive, oversees the group’s business with particular emphasis on strategic and regulatory matters. He has been a shareholder since 2007.

Chief operating officer Colin Mitchell has been involved in safe deposit management for more than 30 years. He was appointed to the main board in 2012 and, as managing director of the group’s subsidiaries, he is responsible for the day-to-day management of Metropolitan's business.

Finance director Steve Watts has been closely associated with us since 2007, initially as the partner at SRLV Accountants who carried out the financial due diligence on behalf of the new owners in 2006/07. As his title suggests, he looks after Metropolitan’s financial affairs.

Charles Barrow is a founding partner of The Southern Properties Group, a private property development and investment company, which specialises in mixed commercial and residential schemes. He has been a non-executive director and shareholder of Metropolitan since 2007.

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