Bundesbank successfully wraps up run-up phase of gold repatriation

The Bundesbank has successfully completed the run-up phase of the repatriation of Germany's gold. According to Bundesbank Executive Board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele, "The organisational preparations were very time-consuming since the required agreements and contracts are voluminous and detailed". In the meantime, 37 tonnes of gold have already been successfully delivered from storage locations abroad to Frankfurt am Main: 32 tonnes from Paris and five tonnes from New York City. No irregularities came to light - with regard to the fineness or the weight of the bars, among other factors.

The Bundesbank has repatriated the gold from New York City in close cooperation with the Bank for International Settlements. "The Bank for International Settlements is a repository of expertise in the repatriation of gold. It is a very trustworthy institution," Thiele said. "We had bars of gold which did not meet the 'London Good Delivery' general market standard melted down and recast. We are cooperating with gold smelters in Europe," Thiele continued. The smelting process is being observed by independent experts. It is set up in such a manner that the Bundesbank's gold cannot be commingled with foreign gold at any time.

The Bundesbank assures the identity and genuineness of German gold reserves from when they are removed from foreign warehouses until they are stored in Frankfurt am Main. As the gold is removed from the warehouse locations, the lists of bars maintained by the Bundesbank are cross-checked against the information on the bars removed. Finally, once the gold arrives in Frankfurt, it is thoroughly and exhaustively inspected and verified by the Bundesbank.

According to the new gold storage plan, unveiled in January 2013, from 2020 the Bundesbank will store half of Germany's gold reserves in its own vaults. In addition - on the basis of how the gold holdings were allocated across the storage locations as at 31 December 2012 - 300 tonnes of gold will gradually be repatriated from New York City, and 374 tonnes of gold from Paris, to Frankfurt am Main.