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Gold Plated Business Banking

Dec 18, 2007
I always remember as a child, admiring my mother's wedding ring. There are all types available now, but at the time it was quite unusual. With its angular design and diamond cut patterning with inset diamonds she was as proud of it today as the day she got married.

I always enjoyed the stories of her great uncle, a Jewish jeweller in London, who designed this ring specifically for her. She would tell me about how she would sit and watch him work when she was a child, unable to take her eyes off his gold tooth. He was always cheerful and smiling and proud of his work which was made it so special when he presented her with the wedding ring design years later.

Jews are well known for their trade as jewellers and also for their ownership of gold. Their money making abilities are sometimes unfairly looked down upon. Even until recent times, Jews were pushed out of so many professions by prejudice that they were forced to take the jobs no one else wanted, such as tax and rent collecting and money lending.

Obviously, passing these professions down to predecessors has given them the time to become experts at what they do. This makes them popular with today's banks and business banking is not a problem for them.

Banks should be the safest of houses and many people have put their faith in safe deposit boxes. These are supposed to be the securest of places for valuable but have had some scorn cast on them in recent years for their dubious banking practices.

It was claimed that, even after it came to light that gold deposits were being made that had been stolen from Holocaust victims, they still continued to accept it.

This was brought to light after a bank security guarded risked death threats to prevent the destruction of Holocaust era records and brought their existence to public attention.

Despite this being a secure system of banking, it is certainly not above the law. In 2000, a US judge approved a $1.85 billion settlement between several Swiss banks and the families of Holocaust victims.

Banking systems have been around since before the dawn of money when people deposited whatever was considered a precious commodity at the time - including grain. However, the biggest asset then, as well as now, is gold bullion.

All the gold that has ever been mined is still in existence today. Value varies very little from year to year. The United States has 16% of all its assets in gold with Chinas reserves being a mere 1%. However, they have expressed interest in increasing their reserve and it is hoped this will push up the price of gold.

The Washington Agreement on Gold limits its member countries to selling less than 400 tonnes of gold per year. This helps to keep the price of gold, and the whole structure of the banking system relatively stable.

In times of inflation, gold has always been seen as a safe commodity as it does not rely on the currency values of any country.

Every year 3000 tonnes of gold goes into jewellery or dental production and around 500 tonnes is now used in automotive electronics on parts such as ignition controls and electronic fuel injection. Gold is a popular choice for electronics as it does not change compositions like other metals after long periods of inactivity.

So, gold is still very much an important commodity but unlike days gone by, is difficult to use in
every-day banking. Business banking still involves cheques and cash but most of it is unseen, using electronic money exchanges and so, back to the gold used in banking but in the electronics.
About the Author
Expert financier Shaun Parker looks into business banking the effect gold bullion has on it. To find out more please visit http://www.lloydstsbbusiness.com/accounts/index.asp /
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