What’s the safest way to store physical gold bullion? Most investors would say that the safest place is in a bank vault. Most would agree that the one place safer than a bank vault would be a central bank vault. What could be safer?

As this article shows, both answers are incorrect. Banks are controlled by the government. Central banks are the government thinly disguised as banks. Both are subject to government declarations, including account freezes and confiscation.

Venezuela stored 14 tons of gold in the Bank of England, one of the two largest official depositaries in the world (the other is the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; both the BOE and the N.Y. Fed have more gold than Fort Knox).

Venezuela requested that the gold be returned. No doubt, they intended to pledge it to Russia or China in exchange for cash. But the Bank of England reneged on its custody agreement, froze the gold in place and said they would hold it in trust until the appointment of a new president of Venezuela in place of Nicolas Maduro.

This is clear-cut evidence that when you put your gold in a bank vault, it’s not your gold anymore. It belongs to the bank and they’ll only give it to you if they feel like it. The lesson is to store your gold in a secure nonbank vault operated by Brink’s, Loomis or another high-quality provider. If you store gold in a bank, you may never see it again.

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