Barclays did not specify how large their new facility is, keeping with the opacity that shrouds the vaulting industry.
LONDON(BullionStreet): British bank Barclays opened a new gold vault on the outskirts of London to caters to institutional investors, sovereign-wealth funds, central banks and commercial banks.
However, Barclays did not specify how large their new facility is, keeping with the opacity that shrouds the vaulting industry.
Barclays' vault was designed and built by Brink's Limited UK—a subsidiary of leading global security firm Brink's, Inc.—and is protected by a purpose-built security system.
Barclays says its decision to build its vault in London stems partly from the liquidity available in that market. Precious metals storage has shaken off its dusty image, emerging as a lucrative business.
Gold is preparing for a twelfth consecutive annual price rise against the backdrop of a flagging global economy and the debt crisis that has engulfed Europe.
Demand for bullion as an investment vehicle has been rising apace in recent years, with the value of gold almost tripling between the start of the global financial crisis in late 2008 and the metal's record highs of around $1,920 a troy ounce in September last year.
According to the World Gold Council, global demand for physical gold bars was 1,159 metric tons in 2011, up 30% on the previous year.
London is the heart of the over-the-counter precious metals market, where millions of dollars in trade are cleared and settled daily, the benchmark prices for gold, silver, platinum and palladium are set and where thousands of ounces of metal are stored.
Barclays, which quotes metals prices and clears over-the-counter trades, says the decision stemmed largely from its customers’ desire to have all aspects of their investment in precious metals handled by one firm.