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Swiss Banks Running Out of Storage Space for Gold

Written By Luke Burgess

Posted July 22, 2009

Gold Stock of the National Bank in Bern

Swiss news website 20 Minuten Online reports that the country’s banks are quickly running out of secure storage space for gold bullion owned by investors and institutions. Concerns over inflation, the global economic downturn, and the success of gold ETFs has rapidly filled Switzerland’s bank vaults with bullion.

Several weeks ago, the 139-year-old Zürcher Kantonalbank reported that it was forced to relocate some of its stored silver bullion to another site to make room for gold. More recently, another Swiss investment banker was quoted by 20 Minuten Online saying, "We have the need to store more gold for our clients, but are finding it difficult to find secure storage facilities."

Many US-based gold ETFs have recently seen a relatively small decline in gold holdings. New York’s SPDR Gold Trust, for example, has sold over 34 tonnes of gold in the last four weeks, equal to almost 3.3% of its total holdings. Meanwhile, the Swiss ZKB Physical Gold ETF and Julius Baer Gold ETF has increased its holdings by 2.8% and 4.8%, respectively.

Luke Burgess
Managing Editor, Gold World