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Germany's central bank bringing home gold reserves ahead of schedule

Europe
09.02.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Frankfurt (dpa) - The German central bank is on track to bring home billions in gold reserves years ahead of schedule, Bundesbank board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele announced in Frankfurt on Thursday.

Germany owns the second-largest gold reserves in the world at more than 270,000 bars. For decades, most of the bars have been stored abroad - in New York, Paris and London.

Following pressure over the years from citizens and politicians, the Bundesbank announced in 2013 that it would store at least half of its gold reserves in Germany by the end of 2020.

Hundreds of gold bars have been brought back to Germany every year since 2013. Last year alone, 216 tons of gold were brought in, taking the total in Germany to 1,619 tons or 47.9 per cent of the country‘s reserves.

Now the transfer is to be completed well ahead of the 2020 deadline.

"More than three years before the deadline, it will be completed this year," said Thiele.

Part of the reserves will remain in New York and London. No further relocations are planned for after 2017, Thiele said.

From the middle of 1951, the Bank of the German States - a forerunner of the Bundesbank - built up its first gold reserves. During the Cold War, it was desirable to keep German gold "west of the Rhine" river and as far outside the country‘s borders as possible.

But more recently, questions and conspiracy theories arose: Is the gold safe in foreign countries? Is it even still there?

In 2012, the Federal Audit Office criticized the way that the foreign gold reserves are checked.

Since then, the Bundesbank has increased transparency. From 2015, it has published a 2,400-page list online that includes every single bar.

 

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