• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Germany's overseas gold 'not monitored properly'

The Local · 24 Oct 2012, 07:30

Published: 24 Oct 2012 07:30 GMT+02:00

In a letter to a parliamentary committee, the Bundesrechnungshof, which audits Germany's finances, complained that the Bundesbank had never made sure that large parts of its gold reserves held by foreign central banks are subject to regular on-the-spot checks.

In the confidential letter auditors scolded the central bank for relying entirely on records, saying no inspector had ever been sent to "physically register, assay and weigh" Germany's stock of gold bars abroad.

As of December 31, 2011, Germany had 3,396 tonnes of gold valued at some €132.9 billion, most of which is held in the Bundesbank's own vaults, but some of which is deposited at the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the Banque de France.

The Bundesbank has traditionally deposited parts of its gold reserves with foreign central banks and one of the reasons for the decades-old practice was so that the gold could be swapped easily for reserve currency when necessary, officials from the organisation explained.

"In view of the high value of the gold reserves stored with foreign central banks and the fact that these have never been registered, the Bundesrechnungshof views it as essential for regular physical checks and assays to be carried out at the foreign central banks," the letter stated.

In a sharply worded response, the bank retorted that it was "not usual practice between central banks" to have to carry out checks to verify that its gold reserves were all present and correct.

"There is no doubt about the integrity, reputation and security" of the foreign central banks' depositary facilities and the Bundesbank received certified confirmation of its inventory down the nearest troy ounce every year from the central banks concerned, it said.

"There is no doubt whatsoever that the depositaries enjoy the best possible reputation and creditworthiness," the bank insisted.

Story continues below…

Furthermore, the German central bank and its partner banks had mutually agreed not to disclose anything about checks that went beyond the usual bookkeeping.

AFP/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

09:21 October 24, 2012 by IchBinKönig
'Germany had 3,396 tonnes of gold valued at some €132.9 billion'

€132.9 billion?? chump change in this day and age of trillion €uro bailouts.
14:28 October 24, 2012 by blackboot11
and don't forget all the gold the Nazis sent to the Vatican 'bank' for safe keeping... I'll bet that they don't monitor that properly either...LOL!
Today's headlines
Five years' jail for German darknet weapons dealer
Photo: DPA

He had sold weapons to known Isis-sympathizers and far-right extremists.

Prickly Bavarian calls out cops on hedgehogs' noisy sex
Photo: DPA

Caught in the act.

International or German state school - which one's best?
Photo: DPA

Deciding between sending your child to a German state school or a private international school isn't easy. Max Bringmann has experienced both.

13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make

Sure-fire ways to get off on the wrong foot in the German language.

Captain Schweinsteiger retires from international football
Bastian Schweinsteiger. Photo: DPA

He has won a World Cup with Die Mannschaft and captained them at Euro 2016. On Friday Bastian Schweinsteiger announced his retirement from the national team.

Woman accused of false rape allegation at Cologne NYE
Cologne on New Year's Eve. Photo: DPA

According to latest reports, the woman was not even in Cologne on New Year's Eve.

Govt argues over using army inside Germany
Photo: DPA

After a string of violent rampages in one week, an argument has broken out in Germany’s coalition government over whether the army (Bundeswehr) should be deployed inside the country.

Analysis
How Merkel reacts to crises better than other leaders
Photo: DPA

It is of critical importance for a country how a leader chooses to react to an act of terrorism. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cool head sets an example for the rest of the country.

Turkey demands Germany extradite Gülen supporters
Fethullah Gülen. Photo: DPA

Ankara called on Germany on Thursday to extradite supporters of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom the Turkish government accuses of plotting a failed coup earlier this month.

German police raid 'hotbed of radicalization'
Police entering one of the residences. Photo: DPA

A mosque and eight residences were searched.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
10,747
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd