Swiss Gold Stored At “Decentralised Locations” – SNB Does Not Disclose Where

Tyler Durden's picture

From GoldCore:

Swiss Gold Stored At “Decentralised Locations” – SNB Does Not Disclose Where

Gold’s London AM fix this morning was USD 1,642.50, EUR 1,251.24, and GBP 1,015.90 per ounce.

Yesterday's AM fix was USD 1,652.50, EUR 1,257.71 and GBP 1,020.44 per ounce.

Silver is trading at $30.49/oz, €23.31/oz and £18.92/oz. Platinum is trading at $1,559.00/oz, palladium at $661.90/oz and rhodium at $1,350/oz.

Gold fell $8.10 or 0.49% in New York yesterday and closed at $1,653.60/oz. Gold has been slowly falling off in Asian and early European trading where it is down some $10 on the New York close. 

Gold has been under pressure in Asia and Europe despite very disappointing economic data further igniting concerns about global growth and the debt crisis.

Cross Currency Table – (Bloomberg)

Gold continues to trade in a range between $1,600/oz and $1,700/oz. Support for gold is at $1,624/oz and resistance is at $1,670/oz and $1,680/oz (see chart below).

Technically, the narrowing range would suggest that a close below or above these levels could see a sharp follow through move down or up. Fundamental demand especially from central banks such as Russia (see below) and from store of wealth buyers in the Middle East and Asia mean that any decline will likely be shallow and the likelihood is of a break out to the upside. 

Investors await the European Central Bank decision at 2.30pm CET. Market watchers will take interest in the ECB President and Vice-President’s explanation of the Governing Council's monetary policy decisions and answers to journalists' questions.

Continuing ultra loose monetary policies and negative real interest rates in the Eurozone mean that the euro (€1,251/oz) will continue to decline against gold.

European investors and savers need to protect themselves from the risk of euro and currency devaluations by having an allocation to gold.

Gold 6 Month Chart – (Bloomberg)

The dollar’s recent strength remains primarily because worries about the eurozone financial crisis have been become paramount which is limiting concerns about the US recovery – for now. The stronger dollar is weighing on commodities and may be impacting on the precious metals as well.

While gold has been correlated with riskier assets such as equities in recent weeks, it remains a safe haven asset and currency and further financial, economic and geopolitical uncertainty will support gold.

Swiss Gold Stored Internationally – SNB Will Not Disclose Where 
There are increasing calls in Switzerland for transparency regarding the location of the remaining Swiss gold reserves. The Swiss National Bank said overnight that it keeps its gold in “decentralized” locations, according to Walter Meier, a spokesman for the Swiss central bank as reported by Bloomberg. 

The SNB has also sold a large part of the Swiss gold reserves in recent years.

There are deepening concerns in Switzerland about the debasement of the Swiss franc. The SNB has pegged the franc to the euro and is engaged in the same ultra loose monetary policies as the Federal Reserve, BOE and the ECB. The SNB won't allow the franc to rise above an arbitrary “ceiling” against the euro Walter Meier himself said on April 5 that the SNB is ready to buy foreign currencies in "unlimited quantities." 

Meier’s comments regarding the vastly depleted Swiss gold reserves came after Bayram Dincer, an analyst at LGT Capital Management in Pfaeffikon, Switzerland, called on the SNB to disclose where its gold is stored, in a letter published in the respected Swiss publication Finanz und Wirtschaft.

Meier said that the SNB holds its physical gold reserves “domestically and internationally, with provisions for a crisis scenario being a main factor in the decision for this decentralized storage”. 

“The criteria for the storage countries are: appropriate regional diversification, exceptionally stable economic and political environments, immunity for central bank investments, access to a gold market where stocks could be liquidated if necessary,”  he continued.

He concluded by saying that “such a decentralized storage is still preferable to an exclusive storage in Switzerland. The listed factors can change over time and that’s why the central bank is reviewing and adapting the storage locations periodically.”

The SNB’s monetary policies have been imprudent in recent years and their gold sales have lost the Swiss people a lot of money. 

Switzerland holds 1,040.1 metric tons of gold, accounting for about 19% of its total reserves, according to the World Gold Council. This is down from 2590 tonnes prior to the SNB gold sales which began in 1999. The sale of Swiss gold reserves has cost the Swiss people some $50 billon.

Swiss GDP was $523 billion in 2011 so the SNB has lost some 10% of Swiss GDP from the sale of a large part of their national patrimony – their vitally important gold reserves.

Many Swiss people are concerned that their remaining gold reserves may be stored in foreign jurisdictions (possibly less safe than Switzerland) which could nationalise or expropriate their reserves in the event of some form of financial or economic collapse or currency crisis. 

Hence, increasing calls of transparency regarding the locations of their gold and calls for the gold to be stored in Switzerland.

Russian Gold / FX Reserves Rise To 523.3 Billion
Russia's gold and foreign exchange reserves rose to $523.3 billion in the week to April 27 from $519.5 billion a week earlier, central bank data showed on Thursday.

The central bank provided the following figures (in billion dollars):    

Latest week             523.3                          

Previous week           519.5                          

End-2011                498.6

The reserves include monetary gold, special drawing rights, reserve position at the IMF and foreign exchange. 

Russia’s continues to diversify its reserves and aggressively accumulate gold bullion. 

Russia Gold Reserves In Millions of Ounces – IMF via Bloomberg

As of 03/31/2012, Russia had increased its reserves to 28.7999 million ounces. Russia held 26.08 million ounces a year ago on 03/31/11. Therefore this is an increase of 10.43% in the last 12 months alone.

The risk of geopolitical tensions spilling over into currency wars remains high.

(Reuters) - Turkish gold imports rose to 7.78 tonnes in April from 2.91 tonnes in March, 
according to data released by the Istanbul Gold Exchange on Wednesday. 

In 2011 as a whole, imports amounted to 79.70 tonnes, almost doubling from 42.49 tonnes a year earlier.

(Reuters Global Gold Forum) - CME notifies members of its clearinghouse that starting Monday, members will need to effectively double the initial margin collected for non-hedge trading positions, with no exception for members' customer accounts. The move is required by CFTC as part of Dodd-Frank, while market participants have known about it for some time, CME apologized Wednesday for the "short notice" of the change. As per CFTC rules, hedges must reduce risk for commercial users of derivatives markets, linked to such a company's assets or liabilities.

(PTI) -- ING Vysya Bank enters gold coin retailing
Private sector lender ING Vysya Bank today entered the gold coin retailing segment, announcing its plans to sell 24-carat coins of up to 10 grams.

The coins will be imported from Switzerland and be sold at the Bangalore-headquartered bank's 149 branches nationally, it said in a statement issued here.

The coins will be offered in denominations of five grams, 8 grams and 10 grams and will be sold based on international bullion rates, it said.

Outlining the bank's rationale for entering the fray, which already has a majority of lenders operating, the bank's country head for retail banking Uday Sareen said, "Gold as an asset class is a key alternate investment avenue for individual investors and also acts as a natural hedge against other asset classes. We have been seeing tremendous demand for this product."

India is the highest consumer of the yellow metal, accounting for 20 percent of the world's market. According to the World Gold Council, the country imported 966 tonnes of gold in 2011.

(Bloomberg) -- Open Interest for Palladium Options Climbs to Record on May 1
Open interest for palladium options traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed to a record 12,166 contracts yesterday, surpassing the previous record of 11,816 on April 25, CME Group Inc. said in an e-mailed statement.

(Bloomberg) -- iShares Silver Trust Holdings Dropped 14.6 Metric Tons Yesterday
Holdings in the iShares Silver Trust dropped 14.61 metric tons yesterday to 9,537.53 tons, according to data on the company’s website.

For breaking news and commentary on financial markets and gold, follow us on Twitter.

Gold Standard for All, From Nuts to Paul Krugman - Bloomberg

 Gold under pressure from weak data; ECB eyed - Reuters

Gold Slips In Asia; ECB Meeting, US Data Eyed – Wall Street Journal

Gold, silver extend losses in Asian trade - MarketWatch

Russian Gold / FX Reserves Rise To $523.3 bln - Reuters


Gold Bull's Long Term Trendline - The Indispensable Chart – Jesse's Café Américain

Hugh Hendry On Europe "You Can't Make Up How Bad It Is" – Zero Hedge

Preparing for a Lengthy and Unpredictable US Dollar Crisis – The Daily Reckoning

Russell - A Chapter of the World Has Come to an End – King World News

Brewing a Conflict with China – Foreign Policy Journal

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Quinvarius's picture

I am pretty sure I have some of it.

SilverTree's picture

Me too, only I think something is wrong with's not yellow it is white.

Pladizow's picture

So everyone in the world sends there gold to Switzerland for safe keeping and Switzerland sends their gold elsewhere???????????

According to Ferdinand Lipz, in "Gold Wars", Switzerland sold their gold in 2000 to become an IMF member.

This is one of the IMF's conditions for membership.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Yes, exactly. Switzerland is physically the most impenetrable country on earth. Why the fuck would they store their gold anywhere else except at home.

DeadFred's picture

They're worried about when the Iranians invade. They're safe now though. With their gold at the bottom of the lake next to mine those nasty Iranians will never be able to get it.

hoos bin pharteen's picture

It was all lost in a "boating accident" in the North Sea.

chubbar's picture

I think that the required IMF condition is not having your currency linked to gold, as opposed to holding gold in reserve, which most central banks do. Regardless, I think if, or when, this whole clusterfuck surrounding gold reserves and manipulation finally sees the light of day, we'll all be surprised at the depth of treason and other shenanigans that have been pulled in order to keep the wealth of the world funneling to the elites.


No, we won't tell you where our gold is, we will only tell you that we have pegged the Swissie to the Euro. 


MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

It is sickening that the SNB provides greasy ZH day traders with an oportunity to buy the EUR/CHF at 1.20 with GUARENTEED support, and they receive no thanks whatsoever in return. People simply don't appreciate the trading oportunities, employment , growth and low interest rates provided by central banks, and it makes me angry.

TuesdayBen's picture

Decentralized locations = hasn't been dug up yet

Eclipse89's picture

Interesting and honestly quite rare article about gold standard today on Bloomberg.

The Big Ching-aso's picture



Hopefully Swiss gold doesn't have 2 many holes in it because that would be kinda cheesy of them.

Al Huxley's picture

Well MDB, luckily those poor, defenseless central banks have you looking out for them, and making their case for them.

DavidC's picture

Ah, you're so right MDB!


Zero Govt's picture

MillionDollarBankrupt  -  some people think Central Banks actually destroy jobs, tilt/pervert the economy to the unproductive parasites of banking against the stable best interests of the productive of society and with their criminal monopoly on money are the true thieves and anarchists that need jailing

take a lookey at all the central banks price rigging in the Gold/Silver markets wiping billions of private investors portfolios. You'd agree market rigging deserves jail time wouldn't you?


hedgeless_horseman's picture



...exceptionally stable economic and political environments...

Where on Earth if not Switzerland?

In World War II, Hitler wanted the Swiss gold reserves and needed free communications and transit through Switzerland to supply Axis forces in the Mediterranean. But when military planners looked at Switzerland's well-armed citizenry, mountainous terrain, and civil defence fortifications, Switzerland lost its appeal as an invasion target. While two World Wars raged, Switzerland enjoyed a secure peace.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Switzerland seems to have changed.  Too linked to the euro and the USA perhaps?  They seem to have lost their will to be neutral and to be a quiet custodian for non-Swiss people's assets.

NotApplicable's picture

They were gutted. As mentioned upthread, "Gold Wars" by Ferdinand Lips tells the story of how the last honest banking system was undermined, as it presents unwanted competition to the criminal banking system.

Ghordius's picture

Uncle Sam, "Brown Bottom" and others forced Switzerland to sell part of it's gold in 1999 - lots and lots of "covert diplomacy" happened then...

btw, the location of many, many gold vaults in the world is at airports. gold travels by plane only (for insurance reasons) and security is easier there, often military grade anyway

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

@ NotA, Ghordius  Thanks for the info

+ 1 to each!

smiler03's picture

Yes indeed Ghordius! 

Heathrow Airport UK and the Brink's Mat robbery comes immediately to mind. Worthy of a film in its own right, "Fool's Gold" 1992.

"The robbers thought they were going to steal £3 million in cash.[3] However, when they arrived, they found three tonnes of gold bullion[4]and stole £26 million worth of golddiamonds and cash."'s-MAT_robbery

I'm sure somebody will be able to quickly inflation adjust the present day value of three tonnes of gold ;O)

LawsofPhysics's picture

Trust them, it's there, really.

tmosley's picture

Safely stored in allocated accounts at MF Global.

jomama's picture

hanging out down there with cheney, obviously!

Abiotic Oil's picture

“The criteria for the storage countries are: appropriate regional diversification, exceptionally stable economic and political environments, immunity for central bank investments, access to a gold market where stocks could be liquidated if necessary,”  he continued.


I'm sure some of it is stored and safe along side the US gold in Ft. Knox.

gabadoo's picture

Since we are on the topic of gold, any opinions on this?

Also I found this fragment to be quite interesting:

Finally, the kicker, as I’ve read it, is Utah will offer a one-time tax credit to offset capital gains on any metal that is being exchanged for paper. The capital gains and tax reporting nature of getting out of your holdings will work like a currency exchange. This eliminates the physical black market or, shadow market of physical transactions. This will avoid multiple calls while shopping transaction values and eliminate the tricky conversation of tax reporting issues. Who’d have thought that seldom mentioned Utah would be the pioneer of such forward thinking?

scatterbrains's picture

So basicaly your saying in the event of a reset/collapse make sure you have enough money and guns to truck your ass to Utah in a hurry..  or is this only going to be available to Utah residence ?

smiler03's picture

Utah? Wouldn't that incur a "tithe" or am I misinformed?

Bay of Pigs's picture

In other words, they have no idea where it actually is, or who else has claims on it.

fuu's picture

It rests at the bottom of many lakes and streams.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Ya, ze gold?  Foombled it into ze lake, ya?

Wolferl's picture

C´mon, the swiss gold is beneath the Bundesplatz in Bern.

smiler03's picture

It has been secretly stored in plain sight in cuckoo clocks and watches. 

jomama's picture

meanwhile, Ag still getting faceraped.  ok by me, it will be cheaper when i get more today!

youngman's picture

If you own probably "have" some of it....

Apostate2's picture

Der Zauberberg...where is it?

vincent van goo's picture

Fell overboard in a tragic boating accident on the Rhine?

Dr. Engali's picture

So is anybody really holding any gold or are they all jut saying they still have some gold?

Zero Govt's picture

ask Gordon Brown where he flogged the British bars

urbanelf's picture

Decentralized location: we lost it.

Josh Randall's picture

Don't ask, Don't tell

PR Guy's picture

It's JUST a piece of yellow metal. It has no real value. It's all makey-uppey.

What will people do when the crap hits the fan? Will they be able to turn their gold into a bow and arrow to go hunting rabbits? Will they be able to buy a bow and arrow with their gold. No. People will look at them like they are lunatics when they go round offering the gold coins for something useful (i.e. life saving). People will just look at them and say: "Yes but what can you do with it?" Maybe make fish hooks out of it?

And people speculate in it. They must be insane. I'm buying bow and arrow futures. We are heading back to the dark ages folks.

Clint Liquor's picture

Spoken like someone with no Gold. Pity.

We produce much more food than we consume. We will be happy to trade it for Gold/Silver when the time comes. If you think you just be able to take it by force, we are prepared for that also.

Archery hunting rabbits is a lot of fun. With a lot of practise you can get one now and then, I would not advise trying to survive from it.

PR Guy's picture

We won't be producing more than we can consume when it hits. Tell me then that your gold coins are worth more than a packet of vegetable seeds.

Clint Liquor's picture

We will have seeds for sale also, for Gold/Silver. You do know people let plants go to seed and harvest seeds, right?

The idea everyone is unprepared and this will Mad Max is foolish. Have some Gold/Silver to trade for the things you will need. The only thing you have to fear is being stuck with fiat.

Herkimer Jerkimer's picture

And then you would have us buy these commodities with what then, since by logical deduction, if the crap hits the fan, the fiat currencies won't be worth the paper to wipe your behind?


What will you do with all of your worthless paper? Turn it into a bow and arrow? Buy one?


And when the crap hits the fans, are you sure there will be anybody to honour your piece of paper that says you hold this or that in the futures market? You know, like the gold futures market you seemingly poo-poo?


Best to take delivery on that cargo ship load of wheat, I suspect.



StychoKiller's picture

I understand that FRNs/Euroz make good firearms also!  Check yer premises.