Gold repatriation (Ofer Abarbanel online library)

Gold repatriation refers to plans of various governments to bring home their gold stored outside the home country.

Many nations use foreign vaults for safe-keeping of part of their gold reserves. In 2014, there was movement by some European nations to return gold stored abroad back to the owner country. The Dutch De Nederlandsche Bank reduced its proportion of gold held by the New York Federal Reserve from 51% to 31%, and Austria and Belgium reviewed the possibility of taking similar measures.[1]


Before 2012, the Central Bank of Venezuela, Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV), held about 211 tons of its 365 tons of gold reserves in American, European, and Canadian banks. In January 2012, however, Venezuela completed the move of 160 tons of gold bars (valued at about $9 billion) back home. The operation was ordered by President Hugo Chávez in August 2011 and was overseen by Central Bank chair Nelson Merentes.[2] In early November 2018, the Bank of England in London refused the withdrawal of 14 tonnes of gold owned by the BCV at the request of top U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, who lobbied their U.K. counterparts to help cut off the regime from its overseas assets. [1]

The Netherlands

In 2014, 122.5 tons of Dutch gold reserves were returned to Amsterdam from New York, where they had been stored in a vault of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; the De Nederlandsche Bank (NRC), the Dutch central bank, said that it “felt that in times of financial crisis, it was better to have the gold near at hand.”[3] The Netherlands continues to store gold reserves in New York, Ottawa and London.[3]


In January 2013, the German central bank (Deutsche Bundesbank) announced plans to repatriate 300 tonnes of its 1,500 tons of gold from the US and 374 tonnes from France by 2020, in order to have half (1,695.3 tonnes) of its official gold reserves stored in Frankfurt.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10] The gold in the U.S. was earned by West Germany through trade surpluses in the 1950s and 1960s and was never moved out of the United States due to fear of invasion by the Soviet Union.[11][12][13] In 2013, a mere 5 tonnes were shipped due to logistical difficulties. However, Germany repatriated 120 t in 2014 (35 tonnes from Paris, 85 t from New York),[14][15][16][17][18] 210 t in 2015 (110.5 t from Paris and 99.5 t from New York)[19]and 200 t in 2016.[20] [21]


In an interview with Belgium broadcaster VTM Nieuws Sunday, Luc Coene, governor of Belgium’s central bank, confirmed that the bank is looking at how they can bring their gold reserves back into the country.

According to IMF data compiled by the World Gold Council, Belgium holds 227.4 metric tons of gold, representing 34.2% of its official foreign reserves. According to reports, most of the gold is held outside of the country with the Bank of England, the Bank of Canada and the Bank for International Settlements.[22]


Save our Swiss Gold motion was a citizen movement that called for the central bank to hold at least 20 percent of its assets in gold, prohibit selling any gold in future and bring all its reserve of gold back in the country.[23][24] This referendum was held on November 30, 2014, but was lost.


Austria currently holds 80% of their 280 tons of gold in London, 17% in Austria, and 3% in Switzerland. Citing a need for risk diversification, Austria announced they will be repatriating gold from London during 2015. After the repatriation process has completed, 50% of Austria’s gold will be held in Austria, 20% in Switzerland, and the remaining 30% in London.[25]


India’s central bank bought 200 metric tons of gold from the International Monetary Fund in 2009, in the first major move by a major central bank to diversify its foreign-exchange reserves.[26]


In 2011, Mexico quietly purchased nearly 100 tons of gold bullion, as central banks embarked on their biggest bullion buying spree in 40 years. China, Russia, and India had acquired large amounts of gold in recent years, while Thailand, Sri Lanka and Bolivia had made smaller purchases.[27]


On September 9, 2010, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced the sale of 10 metric tons of gold to the Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of Bangladesh.[28]


  1. ^Matthew Lynn. “Europeans want their gold back, and why that’s bad for the euro”. MarketWatch.
  2. ^Nathan Crooks, Venezuela Receives Last Shipment of Repatriated Gold Bars, Bloomberg News (January 30, 2012).
  3. ^ Jump up to:ab Dutch gold to be moved out of Amsterdam, (February 24, 2016).
  4. ^“Deutsche Bundesbank’s new storage plan for Germany’s gold reserves”. bundesbank. 2013-01-16. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  5. ^Fontevecchia, Agustino (Jan 16, 2013). “Germany Repatriating Gold From NY, Paris ‘In Case Of A Currency Crisis'”. forbes. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  6. ^“Germany’s Bundesbank brings gold reserves home”. reuters. reuters. Jan 16, 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  7. ^EWING, JACK (Jan 16, 2013). “Germany to Move 674 Tons of Gold”. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  8. ^Jordans, Frank (January 17, 2013). “Germany reclaims $36B in gold from U.S., France”. usatoday. AP. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  9. ^Bradshaw, Anthony (January 21, 2013). “METAL COMMODITIES”. cnbc. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  10. ^Randow, Jana (January 16, 2013). “Bundesbank to Repatriate 674 Tons of Gold to Germany by 2020”. bloomberg. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  11. ^“Germany repatriating its US gold reserves in mini-shipments”. Archived from the original on December 18, 2014.
  12. ^Smyser, W. R. (2003). How Germans Negotiate: Logical Goals, Practical Solutions. United States Institute of peace. p. 179.
  13. ^“Bundesbank still fending off suspicions about gold vaulted in U.S.: Germany Repatriating Its US Gold Reserves in Mini-Shipments”. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  14. ^“The German gold reserves”. bundesbank. Archived from the originalon 2 February 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  15. ^Durden, Tyler (2015-01-20). “Germany’s Bundesbank Resumes Gold Repatriation; Transfers 120 Tonnes Of Physical Gold From Paris And NY Fed”. Retrieved 9 October2015.
  16. ^Silver, Vernon (February 5, 2015). “Almost half of Germany’s gold is stored in vaults under the streets of Manhattan. Or is it?”. Bloomberg. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  17. ^Jansen, Koos (7 September 2014). “German Gold Repatriation Accelerating”. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  18. ^“Analysis Dutch Gold Repatriation: Why, How And When”. Koos Jansen.
  19. ^“Deutsche Bundesbank – Press releases – Frankfurt becomes Bundesbank’s largest gold storage location”. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
  20. ^“Bild: Bundesbank holt größeren Goldschatz zurück”. Retrieved 2017-01-21.
  21. ^German gold repatriation ahead of schedule
  22. ^Belgium Central Bank Looking At Repatriating Gold
  23. ^Neil MacLucas (24 October 2014). “Swiss Vote on SNB Gold Holdings too Close to Call, Poll Shows”. WSJ.
  24. ^Chiara Albanese And Ese Erheriene (29 October 2014). “Markets Nervous Ahead of Swiss Gold Vote”. WSJ.
  25. ^Nationalbank holt Goldschatz heim nach Wien
  26. ^Abhrajit Gangopadhyay and Elisabeth Behrmann (4 November 2009). “India Buys 200 Tons of IMF’s Gold Allotment”. WSJ.
  27. ^Mexican Central Bank Quietly Buys 100 Tons of Gold
  28. ^“Press Release: IMF Announces Sale of 10 Metric Tons of Gold to the Bangladesh Bank”.


Ofer Abarbanel online library