The London Bullion Market is the global trading center for physical gold, and the Bank of England holds gold on behalf of other central banks. There are a number of historical reasons the Bank has this privileged role, but the most important are that the Bank is trusted, and it oversees the largest bullion market by far. Therefore a significant portion of the world’s monetary gold should be stored at the Bank of England.
This does not appear to be the case. First, we must try to get an idea of how much unidentified central bank, or monetary gold, is in London at the Bank of England.
Table 1 shows the derived figures for February 2006 and 2012 (The Bank’s accounting year-end).
Subtracting the known or reasonably estimable quantities listed in the table leaves 2,220 tonnes unidentified in 2006, which rose to 4,691 in 2012. To see how these figures stack up in a global context, we need to compose a second table (Table 2).