Secure alternative gold custodian & silver custodian services

Secure alternative gold custodian & silver custodian services

Custodial institutions are an essential part of the world of financial assets management. Their primary role is to ensure the safekeeping of precious metals, and a whole range of other valuables and securities, in order to minimise the risk of theft and other losses.

In addition to this core role, some institutions offer many other related financial and taxation services. Those providing any such additional services are bound by strict rules which each institution must follow before they can operate as qualified custodians.

This tight financial regulation actually serves as a useful way to conceptualise the focus of this article – precious metals custodian services for institutions and private individuals. This sector divides into two distinct entities:

1) Private professional storage providers such as Swiss Gold Safe whose operations focus on specialist custodial services for precious metals, especially gold and silver.

2) Institutions such as custodian banks, registered brokers and registered dealers who offer custodial services alongside, or associated with, a menu which can include investment advice plus banking and financial trading services, all directly available to their clients. Such diverse regulated services can inflate the cost of custody and also have important implications for those seeking to store their offshore assets in a location which offers state-of-the-art protection managed by a professional provider who can be relied upon to act with discretion.

Swiss gold bars
Precious metals must be kept safe, that is the job of the gold custodians.
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Banks and other non-specialist custodial options

As mentioned above, banks and other non-specialist providers may offer to act as precious metals custodians, but their status has some significant drawbacks for investors looking to fully protect their holdings. Banks, for instance, usually require investment clients to open a bank account and deposit funds, and are subject to stringent regulatory and accounting reporting measures as regards client deposits and stored assets. Brokers and dealers too will usually impose certain tie-in constraints on their clients. More importantly, these institutions are also deemed to offer ‘financial services’, which makes them subject to the same national and international fiscal reporting obligations as any custodian bank storing gold and silver, or other precious metals, on behalf of their clients.

Specialist custodial services: A prudent alternative

Swiss Gold Safe and similar non-bank providers offer exclusive custody services for all precious metals, especially gold and silver. As a result, clients not only benefit from custom storage facilities within high-security vaults, they also receive a specialist custodial service unhindered by the intrusive reporting demands which otherwise apply to all banks, brokers and precious metal dealers.

Put simply, while private providers like Swiss Gold Safe certainly offer bespoke custodial facilities of unrivalled quality, they do not offer financial services. Thus, they are not required to disclose details of client holdings and can therefore guarantee that client privacy remains paramount and storage arrangements will always be handled with the utmost discretion.

Switzerland: An optimal location for gold custodian services

Switzerland is a global hub for gold with facilities to match its prestigious reputation. Many of the world’s largest gold refiners are based here, Zurich is an important international gold-trading market, and gold is imported from nearly every corner of the world.

Even a brief glance at what this sovereign state can offer shows such confidence is not at all misplaced: Switzerland is a stable and politically independent direct democracy with its own strong currency. With such advantages it will come as no surprise to learn the Swiss economy is habitually in robust health while the country operates a fiscal monetary policy which ensures the Swiss Confederation’s national debt consistently represents a tiny fraction of its total net worth.

Though Switzerland also has a modern, well-equipped army, its mountainous Alpine border terrain offers even more physical protection. However, positioned at the heart of Europe yet outside EU jurisdiction and fully independent of any external political influences, Switzerland is a constitutional state more accustomed to exploiting its excellent transport links to facilitate its flourishing international trade.

Swiss Gold Safe is a fine example of the professional custodian services available to institutions and private individuals which support Switzerland’s financial ecosystem founded on gold, silver and other precious metals. While custodian banks are subject to intrusive regulations, and brokers, dealers and refiners usually can offer little more than collective custody for a few standard gold bars and common coins, Swiss Gold Safe can provide high-security facilities in Switzerland to accommodate all client requests for precious metal storage.

Ultra-secure vaults and safe-deposit facilities are very important, but Swiss Gold Safe’s professional safekeeping in individual custody also provides automatic insurance cover to safeguard client deposits against loss or damage to client holdings. Furthermore, when arranging gold custodian services, for example, investors should be aware that opting for collective storage arrangements means accepting practical restrictions on rights of ownership of their stored precious metals. This limitation can only be avoided by ensuring the gold custody arrangements offer the full benefits of individual custody.

Gold and silver bars stacked on each other
Gold and silver can be stored in individual custody.
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Why individual custody is important

Swiss Gold Safe offers allocated and segregated storage of gold and silver goods as standard. This means all client holdings are allocated a numbered storage location where they are separately stored under client names. Such arrangements ensure the client retains full ownership of the goods at all times. This guarantee of ownership provides important protections for the stored assets of private individuals and institutions against possible risks such as confiscation or default acquisition in the event of a bankruptcy or financial crisis.

Silver custody

Investors who wish to store their purchased silver with Swiss Gold Safe can also opt for storage in a bonded warehouse. This special customs arrangement for white metals offers particular advantages to owners because holdings can not only be stored, but also bought and sold, without becoming liable for VAT or import duties. As well as investors from abroad, clients living in Switzerland can also qualify for this concession.

An overview of secure alternative gold custodian & silver custodian services: