Home security expert Graeme MacDonald might be laughing all the way to his local bank – if only he could be sure of its future.
The ongoing wave of branch closures has seen unprecedented demand for safes at his shops in Edinburgh and East Lothian.
“Bank closures have been quite a big thing and have led more and more people to keep money in their homes. You can only get a few hundred pounds a day from a cash machine and some people don’t like to rely on that,” says Graeme. “If you are going to keep cash at home, you need a safe or insurance companies won’t cover you.”
He launched the Claymore Lock and Safe Company in Haddington 21 years ago, opening a second shop at Meadowbank in October 2015.
A locksmith for more than 30 years, Graeme began learning the trade within days of leaving Portobello High School, just before his 16th birthday.
After setting up his own business in the 1990s, he was awarded a contract with an American oil company in Kazakhstan to create one of the world’s biggest master lock systems for an accommodation compound on the Caspian Sea.
His Lothians-based business is now one of only 13 master locksmith companies in Scotland and one of four in the Capital.
“When it comes to safes and home security people like to walk into a shop and see someone who knows what they are talking about,” he adds. “Everything is internet driven these days, but people would rather buy this type of thing from someone they can trust to give them the best advice.”
As a locksmith, Graeme has helped hundreds of people to break into their own homes. “I think of myself as a ‘legal burglar’ and I know how easy it is to gain entry without the right security,” he cautions.
In addition to selling and installing an extensive range of safes, his shops also specialises in high security ABS cylinders for upvc and wooden doors.
Claymore Lock and Safe Co, Parsons Green Terrace, Edinburgh, and Hardgate, Haddington, 0131 526 3790, 07721 556 653 (24hr), www.claymorelock-safe.co.uk