Koos Jansen
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Koos Jansen
Posted on 27 Aug 2016 by

Dutch Central Bank Refuses To Publish Gold Bar List For Dubious Reasons

My hunt for the gold bar list of the Dutch official gold reserves started in 2015. On September 26 of that year I visited a conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, called Reinvent Money. One of the speakers was Jacob De Haan from the Dutch central bank (DNB) Economics and Research Division – you can watch his presentation by clicking here.

In his presentation De Haan repeatedly talked about the importance of transparency in central banking. These statements raised my eyebrows, as I submitted a FOIA request at DNB in 2013 to ask for all correspondence between DNB and other central banks in the past 45 years with respect to its monetary gold, which was not honored. From my experience DNB was anything but transparent.

De Haan DNB 2015
Slide  is from Jacob De Haan (DNB) at the Reinvent Money conference September 26, 2015. Red frame added by me.

After the presentation I approached De Haan and asked him, if transparency is so important to DNB, why has it never published its gold bar list? An act of transparency that could be accomplished within minutes. De Haan offered me he would look into that. He gave me his email address and we agreed to stay in touch. 

Jan de Haan dnb
September 26, 2015, at the Reinvent Money conference. On the left is Jacob De Haan, on the right in the orange sweater is me.

The next day I send De Haan an extensive email explicating my request at DNB to publish the gold bar list of the Dutch gold in excel sheet format. I wrote him it wouldn’t take DNB any effort, as I assumed the bar list was readily available.

De Haan never replied to my email, so I called his office in December 2015 to ask what the status was of my request. De Haan’s secretary answered my inquiry was not rejected but still being processed.

Weeks passed but I didn’t get any reply from De Haan.

On February 24, 2016, I decided to call DNB’s press department to ask about my inquiry. DNB’s spokesman, Martijn Pols, told me over the phone the subject was still being discussed internally, he even confirmed De Haan was involved in the decision making. DNB was considering releasing the document while carefully weighing al pros and cons, he said.

In the conversation Pols stated DNB was aware the German central bank (the Deutsche Bundesbank) released a bar list in October 2015 and there was a wish in Amsterdam to mutually harmonize this policy. I added that if DNB would go ahead with the publication their action would only be credible if the Dutch bar list would be complete (disclosing refinery brands, refinery bar numbers and year of manufacturing), in contrast to the incomplete list the Germans had published. Pols was aware of the format the Germans had chosen and took note of my comment. An ensuing question from my side what was holding back DNB in releasing the list could not be clearly answered.

Months passed without any news from DNB. On August 8, 2016 I decided to call Pols again for a status update. He said he would reply over email. A few days later I received an email from DNB Head of Commutations J.W. Stal.

His email to me, translated from Dutch to English, reads:

Dear Mr Jansen,

…. We can share the following information with respect to our gold reserves.

DNB is transparent about the amount (weight) and the value of our gold assets. This information can be found in our annual reports. Thereby, several media have visited the gold vault and video recordings have also been made. However, we do not intend to publish a gold bar list. This serves no additional monetary purpose to our aforementioned transparency policy, however it would incur administrative costs

If you have any further question please contacts us.

Kind regards,

J.W. Stal

Of course, in this day and age any gold bar list from a central banks should be readily available in excel sheet format, and releasing a sheet would not incur any administrative costs.

My response to Stal translated:

Dear Mr Stal,

If the sole reason not to publish the gold bar list is that such an action would incur administrative costs I must conclude DNB doesn’t have the list readily available. Or is my conclusion erroneous? Does DNB have a complete gold bar list readily available or not?

If not, this is worrying because the gold bar list forms one of the most important checks on the existence of the Dutch official gold reserves, which provide essential stability to our economy.

Is the list in your possession or not?

Kind regards,

Koos Jansen

Stal replied:

Dear Mr Jansen,

In response to your email of August 11, 2016, to De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), we can inform you as follows on our gold reserves and the related gold bar list. DNB has internal gold bar lists, however the conversion of internal lists to documents for publication would create too many administrative burdens.

We maintain our previous email, in which we stated publishing a gold bar list serves no monetary purpose other than transparency. And as previously noted, there are other ways for DNB to transparently communicate about our gold stocks.

We trust to have informed you sufficiently.

Kind regards,

J.W. Stal 

If DNB has its gold bar list properly (digitally) archived there should be no administrative cost whatsoever for publication. The argument presented by Stal makes absolutely no sense to me. If one owns over 600 tonnes of gold, why not have the physical assets accurately inventoried? 

What could possibly be the problem to release the bar list of the Dutch gold located in Amsterdam, New York, Ottawa and London?


I would like to remind you that DNB is the only Western central bank that in recent years has successfully repatriated a significant amount of gold (122.5 tonnes) from the Federal Reserve Bank Of New York through a covertly executed operation. This underlines DNB is fully aware of the importance of its gold reserves in our current fragile financial climate. I think DNB does have the bar list readily available, but it chooses not to publish it for political reasons – think, tensions between its custodians in New York and London.

DNB claims to be transparent but in reality it’s not.

If you click this link you can see the most recent video recording made inside the DNB vault at the Frederiksplein in Amsterdam on April 26, 2016. The gold you see in the video aggregates to 189.9 tonnes and includes the 122.5 tonnes repatriated from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in November 2014. Note, the gold at the Frederiksplein has been relocated to a different compartment inside the vault room after November 2014, due to the increased volume by the repatriation.

elianne DNB gold
Courtesy RTLZ. DNB vault room, Frederiksplein in Amsterdam on April 26, 2016.

A few noteworthy comments from the DNB employee in the video:

Gold is the ultimate insurance and anchor in monetary systems.

If there will ever be any financial instability we can use the gold to build a new monetary system and offer trust to the public.

Koos Jansen
E-mail Koos Jansen on:

  • Big_Shiny_Au_Nuggets

    The obfuscation continues!

  • Duncan Black

    Congratulations Koos – on your continuing work to expose the fraud that is central banking. The sooner the World is rid of this scourge the better – millions, perhaps billions, of lives will be saved. The greatest criminals of all time – central bankers.

    • MacLeod

      Well stated, Duncan!

  • MacLeod

    Yes! Congratulations, Koos. And thanks for all of your good work.

    The day is coming… when psychopathic parasites exposed in the light of your powerful lantern, like cockroaches will scurry to their true abode – ignoble denizens of a lowly realm. Long may it last.

    • Mike_McConeghey

      Crooks in high places cannot stand light or truth.

  • festina

    The most probable reason why the DNB does not want to publish the list is that it changes over time as they provide bars from their vaults to assist the club of central bankers active in managing the gold price. It could happen that a number on a list appears in someone else’s inventory of gold bars. This would again confirm that the gold price is manipulated – and that the DNB is party to such manipulation

  • DinkyToy

    ” …gold is the ultimate insurance and anchor in the monetary system… If there will ever be any financial instability we can use the gold to build a new monetary system and offer trust to the public. ”

    Not being a trader nor invester with no more knowledge of (the price of) gold then my common sense I can assure you that all my trust in finance, markets, gold and central bank policy has flown out the window.
    Seeking a safe haven for my modest savings (to be consumed within 20yrs) I still consider gold. No use lending to banks and I do not trust (the future value of) the Euro nor $.
    And the price of gold seems to be manipulated.
    What am I to do?

  • Tinky

    Excellent work, Koos. Thank you.

  • TanTan

    Could it be that they are leasing the gold out and hence the bar numbers are constantly changing?

    • Mike_McConeghey

      Surreptitiously, multiply allocated.

  • Wanderer

    It seems as if all and everyone responsible in the EU just do, what Jean Claude ordered them to say: “If it gets serious, one has to lie!”
    We all know a lot of our gold is gone. And we know who stole it.
    What we are really curious about is, what criminal, crazy, stupid or disgusting lie they might offer the public this time. I like to remind, that a young german politician (Philipp Missfelder) once stood in NY and asked to see the german gold – he died soon after.
    Maybe Mr Haan is not in the right mood to follow Philipp’s footprints.

  • Brad Soho

    Fantastic research Koos! The last sentence spoken in the DNB video sums it up with a Dutch saying: “…, zwijgen is goud” — keeping silent is gold

  • http://goldchat.blogspot.com/ Bron Suchecki

    I find this excuse weak when gold ETFs can produce bar list in the thousands of pages, and do so without creating any security issue. Even if the custodians where they have the gold have given them a pdf bar list that for some reason contains information that could be a security risk, it should not be a problem to ask that custodian to modify the report/query on their inventory database to exclude such information, or output only the relevant fields of data as a csv file or spreadsheet. If the problem with doing that is that the custodian does not operate an electronic inventory system then we have some serious questions about the control and safety of that custodian’s operations.

    I think the real reason for not wanting to disclose the bar list is as some have noted in the comments – when a central bank leases gold out, they get different bars back (see here http://goldchat.blogspot.com.au/2010/08/gld-leasing-and-encumbrances.html on why this is case) and thus the changing bar numbers on the list would reveal what percentage of the central bank’s gold was lent to bullion banks during the year.

    For a central bank who follows correct accounting rules and show leases separately to physical gold (see here http://goldchat.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/central-bank-gold-reserves-transparency.html regarding Reserve Bank of Australia) a bar list should not be an issue (although see here http://www.bullionbaron.com/2015/02/reserve-bank-of-australia-missing-bar.html for blogger Bullion Baron’s problems getting a bar list out of the RBA, which it seems was more of a case of interference from the BoE and a lack of courage by the RBA to stand up to them) but for a central bank who reports physical gold and leased gold as “gold” the bar list would raise questions like “why didn’t you disclose the difference, how can you pretend that leased and physical are the same” or questions about the risk the central bank is taking and whether the return they got was worth the risk. Whilst I haven’t met central bankers personally, I’m guessing they don’t take too kindly to having their actions or judgements questioned. Hence the stonewalling.

  • Jack The⚡︎Ripper

    “…it chooses not to publish it for political reasons – think, tensions between its custodians in New York and London.”?? Why would complying whith this request create tension with any foreugn govs? I mean, it doesn’t affect them in any way nor is it any of their buisness how transparent Netherlands or any country other than their own is… So, why would London or NY care? If someone could enlighten me, i would greatly appreciate… And yes, I did ‘ask’ google, but google doesn’t have a clue either 😉

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