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China's ICBC bank purchases London bank vaults

May 16, 2016

Last January, the ICBC bank purchased Deutsche Banks’ vault in London.

http://www.reuters.com/article/gold-vault-deutsche-idUSL8N14S2QL20160108

LONDON, Jan 8 ICBC Standard Bank is buying the lease on Deutsche Bank's London gold and silver vault, enlarging its footprint in the city's bullion market, four industry sources close to the companies said on Friday.

China's ICBC, which took a controlling stake in Standard Bank's London-based Global Markets business last year, has also applied to become a clearing member of the London gold and silver over-the-counter business….

Deutsche Bank resigned as a clearing member in 2015, after closing its physical precious metals trading arm and withdrawing from gold and silver benchmark price setting.

Now they are buying Barclay’s gold vault.

http://www.reuters.com/article/icbc-barclays-gold-idUSL5N18D1P7

LONDON, May 16 (IFR) - ICBC Standard Bank is buying Barclays' London precious metals vault, giving the Chinese bank the capacity to store gold worth more than US$80bn in the secret location.

The vault is one of the largest in Europe, with a capacity to hold 2,000 tonnes of gold, silver, platinum and palladium. It has been operational since 2012….

Barclays said in January it intended to exit from precious metals and moved the business into its non-core unit, which includes all the business it wants to sell or close.

It seems that the ICBC Standard Bank is replacing Western banks in the gold market. It just makes sense that if a western bank is selling its gold, it should also sell its vaults to those who are buying gold.

Zerohedge comments on these purchases:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-16/chinas-largest-bank-quietly-cornering-market-london-physical-gold

With this latest takeover by a Chinese bank of a London mega vault, it leaves only the HSBC gold vault (profiled here recently) where the inventory of the GLD is also stored, not in Chinese hands as well as, of course, the vault of the Bank of England.

So while the West has bet the farm on fiat money, China is betting on a future where the gold standard is re-established, reversing President Nixon’s decision in 1971 to take us off the gold standard. In another century, we may wonder how anyone could think that going off the gold standard was a good idea. That idea will prove to be a 45-year fluke of history.


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