German Central Bank Completes Repatriation Of $28 Billion In Gold Three Years Ahead Of Schedule

On January 16, 2013, the Bundesbank - one of the biggest gold holder in the world, with 3,378 tonnes - shocked the world: out of the blue, the German central bank announced that by December 31, 2020, it intends to store half of Germany’s gold reserves in its own vaults in Frankfurt, up from only 31% at the time. The plan would mean repatriating a total of 674 tonnes of gold, 300 from the New York Fed's gold vault, and another 374 from the Bank of France. The transfer, the Bundesbank explained, was meant to "build trust and confidence domestically, and the ability to exchange gold for foreign currencies at gold trading centers abroad within a short space of time."

The "politically correct" motives for the transfer, as well as the logistics and the mechanics behind it were explained in a March 2015 video released by the Bundesbank...

... the real reasons, however, is that following several reports on this website which cast doubts on Germany's gold holdings, in late 2012 the German Court of Auditors demanded that the Bundesbank undertake an audit of its gold reserves. Specifically, the court wanted to ensure that the nearly 3400 tons of gold, of which more than 2,000 tonnes held offshore, is in fact in existence - 'because stocks have never been checked for authenticity and weight'.  The move to repatriate was only accelerate following rumors that much of the offshore-held gold might have been "rehypothecated", and not be there anymore, that it might have been melted down, leased, or sold.

Ironically, at the time, Bundesbank Board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele told the Handelsblatt that these moves were a “trust-building” measure, and he tried vigorously to put the rumors about the missing gold to rest. Of course, repatriating your gold from foreign central banks is precisely the opposite of a "demonstration of confidence."

Even more ironic is that speaking to Forbes, a Bundesbank spokesman said in Jan 2013 that “we have no intention to sell gold,” adding that “[the relocation] is in case of a currency crisis."  A mildly paradoxical argument since the officially stated reason for the repatriation the gold was to "build trust and confidence domestically, and to have the ability to sell gold quickly If needed."

What made matters worse is that at the end of 2013, the Bundesbank announced it had managed to repatriate only 37 tonnes of the total 700 scheduled for redemption, further spooking the local population and suggesting that conspiracy theories that the gold was missing were in fact accurate.

As a result, following blowback from both the media and the public, the Bundesbank accelerated its activity, and repatriated 120 tonnes in 2014, 210 in 2015, and another 216 in 2016, implying that the Bundesbank's faith in its foreign central bank peers had declined in inverse proportion to the accelerating redemption schedule.

Finally, Germany's push to redomicile its gold also prompted a similar partial gold repatriation by the Netherlands.

* * *

So fast forward to August 23, 2017 when in what appears to have been a very big hurry, and well over three years ahead of schedule, the Bundesbank today announced it had "completed its gold transfer process earlier than originally planned."

The news should not come as a surprise: back in February the Bundesbank announced that it had already concluded the transfer of all the planned gold from New York, leaving only French gold to be repatriated. And, as of today, that too has been completed. From the press release:

The Bundesbank has completed its gold transfer process earlier than originally planned. After the gold in New York was able to be transferred ahead of schedule in 2016, roughly 91 tonnes of gold still remained in Paris. This was relocated to Frankfurt this year and as a result, there are no longer any German gold reserves in Paris. "This closes out the entire gold storage plan – around three years ahead of the time we were aiming for," reported Carl-Ludwig Thiele, Member of the Bundesbank’s Executive Board, referring to the gold storage plan unveiled in 2013. This plan saw the Bundesbank storing half of Germany’s gold reserves in its own vaults in Frankfurt am Main from 2020 onwards, requiring the phased transfer of approximately 300 tonnes of gold from New York and about 374 tonnes of gold from Paris.


The following table gives an overview of the gold transferred.



The Bundesbank had verification measures in place throughout the entire transfer process – from when the gold was removed from the storage locations abroad until it was placed back in storage in Frankfurt am Main – to ensure that it was Germany’s gold reserves that were being transferred. Once they arrived in Frankfurt am Main, all the transferred gold bars were thoroughly and exhaustively inspected and verified by the Bundesbank. When the inspections of transfers had been concluded, no irregularities came to light with regard to the authenticity, fineness or weight of the bars.


In spring 2018, the Bundesbank will publish an updated version of its gold bar list as at 31 December 2017 on its website.

And so, Germany's repatriation of 674 tonnes of gold - or 53,780 bars of gold - is complete, lifting the amount of gold held domestically to 1,710 tonnes or 50.6% of the total. Going forward, Germany will still have 1,236 tonnes held at the NY Fed, and another 432 tonnes of gold at the Bank of England.

Why this unexpected scramble to repatriate $28 billion in physical gold 3 years ahead of the stated schedule, remains a "mystery."


sinbad2 Aug 24, 2017 12:03 AM Permalink

Germany got nothing out of the US, they got their gold back from France, Libya, Mali and Ukraine, but nothing but some debased bars from the US, that had to be sent to Switzerland to remove the copper.

are we there yet Aug 23, 2017 7:42 PM Permalink

Munchkins wife is a hot gold digger. Imagine her inspecting Fort Knox with her husband. After which she went home with him and showed her gratitude. The next day he said 'the gold is secure' .

squid Aug 23, 2017 6:23 PM Permalink

28 bi$$ion my ass.....It should be 2.8 trillion, gold should be at 100,000 per Oz based on what's in ft. Knox (supposed) and the amount of USD sloshing around. Squid

el buitre Aug 23, 2017 5:46 PM Permalink

How great a difference a half year makes with the Tylers.  This August 23 article has the exact same heading, word for word, as their Feb.9, 2017 article, namely:   Bundesbank Has Completed Gold Repatriation From New York Fed, Three Years Ahead Of Schedule.  I thought I had stepped into Orwell’s memory hole.  However, while the contents of the article are superficially similar, the older article contains a fact conspicuously absent from today’s, namely how much German gold purportedly remains in the NY Fed vaults (assuming it didn’t crawl through that tunnel under Liberty Street connecting the vault with the huge vault formerly owned by JP Morgan and now owned by the Chinese.)  This portion was absent from todays article:In January of 2016, the Bundesbank announced that three years after commencing the transfer of some of its offshore-held gold from vaults located at the Banque de France in Paris and the NY Fed in New York, it had repatriated a total of 366.3 tonnes, bringing the German central bank's gold reserves held in Frankfurt to 1,402 tonnes, or 41.5% of Germany's total gold of 3,381 tonnes, for the first time greater than the 1.347 thousand tonnes located at the New York Fed, which as of January 27, 2016 held 39.9% of Germany's official gold."With approximately 1,403 tonnes of gold, Frankfurt has been our largest storage location, ahead of New York, since the end of last year," said Carl-Ludwig Thiele, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank. "The transfers are proceeding smoothly. We have succeeded in once again significantly increasing the transport volume compared with 2014. This means that operations are running very much according to schedule," added Thiele last January.…Today’s article gives the impression that all the German gold (purportedly) in storage at the NY Fed has been repatriated “ahead of schedule,” while in truth this represents only 20% of it.  I liked the February ZH better. Sorry for the bad formatting.  I wrote this in a WP and it seems that the ZH comment formatting only allows one paragraph space when copied.

sacredfire Aug 23, 2017 4:53 PM Permalink

Why would banks spend so much time, money and effort to bring something home that is worthless? Don't the bankers always tell us that gold is worthless as a store of wealth?

ali-ali-al-qomfri Aug 23, 2017 4:33 PM Permalink

Hey wait a second, those are the same bars that Mnuchin was counting just the other day.They're just moving the same boxes of gold around to the next viewing station.  (and just in time to hand over to Russia for fuel oil this winter, its gonna be a cold, cruel winter my friends)

Conax Aug 23, 2017 3:33 PM Permalink

Well of course they got it all back. Original bars, no doubt.They said so, and banksters wouldn't ever lie, one helping another, to keep the lid on things another month. 

stormcrow Aug 23, 2017 3:18 PM Permalink

"all the transferred gold bars were thoroughly and exhaustively inspected and verified by the Bundesbank" Surely they must have made a list of the bars as they were being "thoroughly and exhaustively" inspected, so why are they hiding the bar list until Spring 2018? 

GoldHermit Aug 23, 2017 3:10 PM Permalink

Many governments are acquiring or repatriating gold right now. Many very astute and wealthy people are coming out and talking about the need to own physical gold right now. There is a reason for all of this and if you don't know it then you're the Patsy at the poker table

BrownCoat GoldHermit Aug 23, 2017 6:43 PM Permalink

The gold market (and silver market) can be fixed. The guy with the largest stack at the poker table can call the shots, just like a central bank.The central bank can set the gold price by manipulating paper contracts. That gives the impression that central bank fiat hasn't lost as much value. Fortunately, the national government also fixes food staple prices, so the sheeple can eat. When the ag subsidies go, its SHTF time!

In reply to by GoldHermit

andrej Aug 23, 2017 2:49 PM Permalink

So they got back their gold plated tungsten. Or gold plated firewood. Or bricks. Or whatever.Who is going to do the audit? Is Bundesbank more credible than FED? I doubt it.