• Germany edition
 
Germany's overseas gold 'not monitored properly'
Photo: DPA

Germany's overseas gold 'not monitored properly'

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

German central bank, the Bundesbank, locked horns with the federal court of auditors on Tuesday over criticisms that it was not keeping proper track of the country's vast reserves of gold.

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.

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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradited a former Yugoslav spy chief, Zdravko Mustac, to Germany on Thursday to face charges for the 1983 murder of a dissident on German soil. READ () »

German court jails Somali pirate for 12 years
An officer of the Lower Saxon Criminal Investigation Department (CID) securing evidence on the hijacked ship Marida Marguerite. Photo: DPA

German court jails Somali pirate for 12 years

A German court has sentenced a Somali pirate chief to 12 years in jail for hijacking a ship off the Horn of Africa and tormenting its crew during an eight-month ordeal. READ () »

New app helps clients find prostitutes
Photo: DPA

New app helps clients find prostitutes

While the German government is considering tightening prostitution laws, Berlin entrepreneurs have developed a smartphone app to connect sex-workers with clients. READ () »

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend
Photo: DPA

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend

The days running up to Easter may be cool and wet, but the holiday weekend should be a bit warmer for most of Germany, according to forecasters. READ () »

Berlin man must call himself a mother
The fight over the transgender man's right to be his child's official father has been raging since last year. Photo: DPA

Berlin man must call himself a mother

A transgender person who became the first man in Germany to give birth in March 2013 must be registered as the child's mother, a court has ruled after his year-long court battle to be named a father. READ () »

Study: rape convictions fall sharply
Photo: DPA

Study: rape convictions fall sharply

The chance of being convicted of rape in Germany has more than halved in the past two decades to fewer than one in ten, a major study revealed on Thursday. READ () »

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax
The tax privilege for investment income is unfair, says the SPD. Photo: DPA

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax

The centre-left half of Germany's coalition government has called for the old top rate of a 45-percent tax on investments to be brought back - to match standard income tax and fight the squeeze on middle incomes. READ () »

Customs find smuggled cash in every third car
Sniffing out the money. Photo: DPA

Customs find smuggled cash in every third car

The number of Germans smuggling large amounts of cash across the Swiss border into Germany rose dramatically last year. Customs officers said on Thursday they made a find in almost every third car they checked. READ () »

Crystal meth use hits record level
Crystal meth seized in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Crystal meth use hits record level

Consumption of crystal meth in Germany appears to have reached a record level, according to government figures published on Thursday. READ () »

Child's near death sparks row over refugee homes
Leonardo had to have a finger and toe amputated after staff refused to call an ambulance. Photo: DPA

Child's near death sparks row over refugee homes

A political row has broken out in Bavaria after an asylum seekers' home failed to help a toddler who almost died of meningitis. The case has raised concerns about the treatment of refugees in the state. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,146
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd