Jens Weidmann, president of the Deutsche Bundesbank, said Germany brought back nearly 37 tonnes of gold from its reserves in New York and Paris this year and that the final goal is to store half the national reserves of the precious metal, or about 3,400 tons, in its own vaults by 2020.
In an interview with the Bild newspaper (in German), the executive said the bank got back an estimated US$1.5 billion in gold, as part of a plan unveiled in January to increase the reserves held in Frankfurt. By 2020, it wants to have 700 tons back from the US and France.
Weidmann also said the decision had nothing to do with how safe or not are the American and French vaults.
During the cold war, West Germany followed a policy of storing its gold as far west as possible, in case of a Soviet invasion.
German reserves peaked in 1968 at about 4,000 tons, several years before the end of the so-called Bretton Woods system of fixed international exchange rates, which was underpinned by gold reserves.
After Germany’s central bank completes the transfer in about six years, half of its gold will remain abroad, with an estimated 37% in New York and 13% in the Bank of England.