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Gold

​The Bank of England has one of the world’s largest gold vaults.
 
You can watch a video about our gold on our KnowledgeBank website or to see more photos visit our Flickr page.

Gold custody services

We only own two of the gold bars in our vaults. One of these is on display in the Bank of England Museum, and you can hold it when you visit. Instead, we store the gold bars on behalf of HM Treasury, other central banks and some commercial firms.
 
Gold is used as a reserve asset by central banks, and London is a major market for gold transactions.
 

Why does the Bank of England store gold?

We provide safe custody for the United Kingdom’s gold reserves, and for other central banks. This supports financial stability by providing central banks with access to the liquidity of the London gold market. We also provide gold accounts to certain commercial firms that facilitate access for central banks to the London gold market. 
 
Gold that we hold on behalf of our customers does not appear on our balance sheet. This is because we provide gold storage on an allocated basis, meaning that the customer retains the title to specific gold bars in our vaults, rather than a claim on the Bank for a certain weight of gold.
 
The table below shows monthly figures for our total gold holdings, denominated in weight (fine troy ounces):

Bank of England gold holdings

Month​ ​Fine troy ounces (thousands) ​Change (%)
​Jul 2016 ​158,939 ​1.9%
​Aug 2016 ​160,551 ​1.0%
​Sep 2016 ​162,029 ​0.9%
​Oct 2016 ​163,467 ​0.9%
Nov 2016​ 164,704​ 0.8%​
​Dec 2016 ​164,043 ​-0.4​%
Jan 2017​ 163,496 -0.3%​
Feb 2017​ ​​162,904 -0.4%​
​Mar 2017 ​163,358 0.3​%​​
Apr 2017​ 164,737​ 0.8%​
May 2017​ 164,843​ 0.1%​​
Jun 2017​ ​165,890 0.6%​
 

Gold bars


  Related Links
  Gold account policy
  UK official reserves framework
  The Bank of England as a bank: QB article

  External Links
  HM Treasury
  London Bullion Market Association

Gold data set

​These data show the weight of gold held in custody on the last business day of each month. We publish the data with a minimum three-month lag.

Values are given in thousands of fine troy ounces. Fine troy ounces denote only the pure gold content of a bar.

We only accept bars which comply with London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) London Good Delivery (LGD) standards. LGD bars must meet a certain minimum fineness and weight. A typical gold bar weighs around 400 oz. 
 
Historic data on our gold custody holdings can be found in our Annual Report