• 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
Pegida take to Dresden streets - to march against Pegida
Pegida demonstrators. Photo: DPA

Followers of the xenophobic Pegida movement marched in two factions on Monday evening in the capital of Saxony, brandishing fierce accusations of treason against one another.

Analysis
Is it fair to call the AfD far right?
AfD leaders, from left, Georg Pazderski, Frauke Petry and Jörg Meuthen. Photo: DPA.

The AfD has been dubbed "far-right" over the past year as it has taken on a tougher stance against immigration and made gains in state elections. But at what point does one call a group far-right?

Dresden police guard Islamic buildings after mosque attack
The Dresden mosque that was hit by a homemade bomb attack on Monday. Photo: DPA.

All Islamic buildings in the capital of Saxony have been put under police protection on Tuesday after explosive devices were detonated at a mosque and a congress centre in the city.

Germany blocks WhatsApp data transfers to Facebook
Photo: DPA

German data protection authorities on Tuesday said they had blocked Facebook from collecting subscriber data from its subsidiary WhatsApp, citing privacy concerns.

Stuttgart fest pulls in twice as many boozers as Oktoberfest
Is this Oktoberfest or is this Stuttgart's Cannstatter Volksfest? Can you tell the difference? Well, it's Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

Apparently Munich is no longer the top place to wear lederhosen and down beer one litre at a time.

The Local List
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Photo: DPA

These films are so good, not even The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari made the list.

Young man destroys 17 cars after visiting Oktoberfest

Early on Monday morning a drunk 29-year-old trashed 17 cars after staggering out of Oktoberfest into the Munich streets. It was one of several eye-popping crimes from "Wiesn" over the past few days.

VW emissions scandal
Audi tech chief leaves after reports link him to 'dieselgate'
Audi's head of technical development Stefan Knirsch stepped down on Monday. Photo: DPA.

Audi's head of technical development stepped down "with immediate effect" on Monday, the luxury carmaker announced, after German media accused him of involvement in parent company Volkswagen's "dieselgate" scandal.

Deutsche Bank shares hit lowest level in quarter century
Photo: DPA.

Shares in Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest lender, sank to a historic low on Monday after reports at the weekend that Berlin had refused state aid for the embattled lender.

The Local List
The 10 worst German cities for students to find digs
Photo: DPA

It's the start of autumn, which means the start of the university year. But along with the excitement comes the stress of finding housing - and in some glamorous locations this can be a nightmare.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,591
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd