Precious Metals

How much gold and silver is stored in London vaults?

How much gold (and silver) is held in London vaults? We now know because the London Bullion Market Association recently released details.

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How much gold and silver is stored in London vaults? The London Bullion Market Association knows and recently released details of the holdings in the city.

According to a recent press release by the association, “As at 31 March, 2017, there were 7,449 tonnes of gold, valued at $298 billion and 32,078 tonnes of silver valued at $19 billion. This equates to approximately 596,000 gold bars and 1,069,255 silver bars.”

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According to Sarah Benali at Kitco News on July 31, the association released the data in “an effort to increase transparency in the marketplace.”

The LBMA said in its press release, “There are currently seven custodians offering vaulting services (all of which are LBMA members). Four are security carriers, Brinks, G4S Cash Solutions (UK), Malca-Amit and Loomis International Ltd and three are clearing banks, HSBC, ICBC Standard Bank and JP Morgan. In addition, the Bank of England (not an LBMA member) offers gold (but not silver) custodial services to central banks and certain commercial firms that faciliate central bank access to the liquidity of the London gold market. Those clearing members without their own vault operations — Scotiabank and UBS — utilise their accounts with one of the LBMA custodians or the Bank of England (BoE) and therefore do not contribute to the statistics to avoid double accounting.”

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The association added, “The physical holdings of precious metals held in the London vaults underpin the gross daily trading and net clearing in London. The net clearing is undertaken by the members of the London Precious Metals Clearing Limited (LPMCL). London is the largest gold trading centre in the world as demonstrated by the $18.1 bn of gold which was cleared on average each day in March, 2017 (Source: LBMA net daily clearing statistics).”

The LBMA adds, “All physical forms of metal are included: large wholesale bars, coin, kilo bars and small bars.” It also notes, “The data only includes physical metal held within the London environs and does not include precious metals physical holdings readily available at short notice in other secure overseas vaulting facilities. ... Jewellery and other private holdings held by retailers, individuals and smaller vaults not included in the London Clearing system are not included in the numbers.”

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