Bundesbank has completed a transfer of gold worth 24B from Franceand U.S.

Germany has completed domestic gold storage plan 3 years ahead of schedule

In the 7.7 million plan, 54,000 gold bars were shipped and audited

In 2012 German court called for inspection of Germany’s foreign gold holdings

Decision to repatriate from Paris and New York was ‘to build trust and confidence domestically’

1,236t or 37% of German holdings remain in New York Fed facility

Bundesbankwants to hold gold bullion

U.S. government declines to audit gold reserves doesn’t want world to realise gold’s importance in the globalmonetary system

Editor: Mark O’Byrne

Last Monday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin feigned to inspect the U.S. gold reserves in Fort Knox and joked flippantly that he assumed it was there.

A day later the Bundesbank, announced that they had repatriated much of their gold reserves from the U.S. and France.Coincidence or coordination?

In 2013 the Deutsche Bundesbank announced plans to store half of its gold reserves in Germany. At the time, only 31% was stored in the country. The Gold Storage Plan involved bringing gold home from both Paris and New York.

The plan was expected to take seven years. At the time many asked why it would take so long to return just 674t of gold. The Bundesbank has completed the plan three years ahead of schedule.

The German gold repatriation was in response to the critics and or in order to safeguard the German gold reserves and ensure they are owned in a safe, allocated and segregated manner by the Bundesbank.

In the last five years the German central bank has 374t and 300t from Paris and New York, respectively. The Bundesbank opted to keep 432t in the Bank of England vaults.

Whilst the tables above (from the Bundesbank) show the repatriation of gold was ultimately successful, it has promoted much discussion about the security of gold in central banks.

The decision to move the gold back to home soil has also vindicated many who have long argued about the murky gold reserve dealings of the United States.

Why was the gold abroad and why move it?

Many countries choose to hold proportions of their gold on foreign soil for both security and practical reasons.

Practical reasons as it makes sense to have reserves in diversified locations so you have access to markets should you need to trade the reserves.

In 2013 a Bundesbank spokesman saidwe have no intention to sell goldadding that the decision to relocate the foreign held gold is in case of a currency crisis.

This leads on to security reasons. During the Cold War the Bundesbank wanted to keep its gold in the West in case of an invasion from the Soviet Union. It was also a way of supporting the country’s currency knowing there were reserves held securely abroad, should the country need to use them.

Campaigns and concerns in the last decade have made the German population and central bank rethink what the modern security and practical threats are, prompting them to bring some of the gold home.

It was in the wake of the U.S. subprime crisis, the Lehman collapse and then the ensuing eurozone and global debt crisis in 2012, that prompted voices in Germany to call for an audit of the precious metal held abroad.

Campaigners also suspected the gold might have been tampered with or not be fully allocated and non leased. In response to the calls for greater transparency the Bundesbank agreed to hold 50% of the gold in Germany.

When the Bundesbank announced their plans to keep 50% of the gold at home it came just three months after they had defended their reasons for keeping the gold on foreign soil:

‘To function as reserve assets, it would have to be possible for the gold holdings to be exchanged, if necessary, into a commonly used reserve currency without any logistical constraints. That is the reason for storing parts of the gold reserves at partner central banks in other countries.’

Then, in early 2013 the central bank announced: