G4S London Gold Vault
The London gold vaulting system consists of 8 custodians offering gold storage services. In addition to the vaults of the Bank of England and the banks HSBC, JP Morgan, and Barclays, 4 security carrier companies also offer gold vaulting services in London. These four companies are Brinks, Loomis, Malca Amit, and G4S.
In 2012, G4S Cash Solutions (UK) and Deutsche Bank announced that it had concluded an agreement for G4S to build and operate a precious metals vault in London on behalf of Deutsche Bank. The vault was constructed over 2013/2014 and opened in June 2014. Deutsche Bank had entered a 10 year lease with G4S under which G4S was contracted to operate the vault exclusively on behalf of Deutsche Bank and its clients. However in December 2014, Deutsche Bank announced that the lease on the vault was for sale since it had decided to withdraw from its precious metals operations in London. In early 2016, ICBC Standard Bank confirmed that it was buying the lease on the G4S vault from Deutsche Bank.
The G4S London precious metals vault was originally built as a collaboration between G4S and Deutsche Bank, announced in 2012, and opened in June 2014
The vault is managed by G4S and is located in the basement of a G4S operating centre in the Park Royal district of London, north-west of central London
The G4S vault has a capacity of 1500 tonnes of gold and is situated in a basement which has an area of 750 square metres
Deutsche Bank had entered a long term lease on the vault with G4S, but in early 2016 ICBC Standard Bank acquired the lease on this vault
G4S is one of the world’s largest integrated security companies, and provides a wide range of security services, such as secure logistics, cash management, prison and detention facility management, and commercial security services. G4S stock has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange. G4S International (G4Si) is the group’s global division that provides transport for valuables, including precious metals. Although G4S Cash Solutions is the entity that signed the deal with Deutsche Bank for its London precious metals vault, the secure vaults run by G4S in many markets worldwide are classified under the commodities area of G4Si.
The G4S gold vault is located in the basement of the G4S Cash Solutions operating centre at 291 Abbey Road, London NW10 7SA in a district of London called Park Royal. Park Royal is approximately 10 miles west of the Bank of England and about 12 miles north-east of Heathrow Airport.
The G4S vault has a capacity of 1,500 tonnes of gold. In the original planning applications submitted for the G4S Park Royal operating center, the basement, in which the vault was to be housed, occupied an area of 1,178 square metres. See Project-Park-Royal-Document-120437-A-105-B-Typical-floor-plans-and-sections. A subsequent planning application, before development commenced in 2013, reduced the basement size to 750 square metres. See amended plans Project-Park-Royal-Document-120437-A-105-C-Typical-floor-plans-and-sections. The architect for the G4S operating centre project was Pick Everard, Leicester The developer for the G4S operating centre was Galliford Try.
The basement is one level underground and is positioned under the front of the G4S building at 291 Abbey Road. There are 5 truck loading bays to the rear of the building. Three lifts (elevators) appear to be connected to the basement, 2 to the rear near the right hand side truck bay, and 1 near the front entrance to the right. When the basement was excavated in 2013, vault doors and security doors were lowered into place, suggesting, as would be expected, a series of security features, in addition to the vault itself.
Gold Vault Customers and Gold Stored
When Deutsche Bank launched the G4S vault under its name, it was pitched at “institutional investors, and commercial and central banks.”.
Although G4S Cash Solutions (UK) is listed on the website of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) as a custodian for gold in the London Market, its doubtful if there is any gold or other precious metals stored at the vault given that it was only open for 5 months before Deutsche Bank indicated its intention to exit the lease agreement, and also since another entity, ICBC Standard Bank, only ‘agreed’ to take on the lease, and has made no further comments on the agreement.
However, now that ICBC Standard Bank has taken on the Deutsche Bank lease, it would appear that this gold vault will be utilised by the new lessee for precious metals storage as originally intended.
References and Links
1.^ List of entities offering gold custody services in the London Gold Market http://www.lbma.org.uk/assets/market/gdl/Custodians_London.pdf
4.^ “G4S London Gold Vault 2.0 – ICBC Standard Bank in, Deutsche Bank out”, BullionStar blog https://www.bullionstar.com/blogs/ronan-manly/g4s-london-gold-vault-2-0-icbc-standard-bank-in-deutsche-bank-out
6.^ Galliford Try http://www.gallifordtry.co.uk/capabilities/construction
7.^ Deutsche bank sets up bullion vault in London, Reuters, June 2014 http://www.reuters.com/article/gold-storage-idAFL5N0OQ2VZ20140609
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