Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Russin Bank Offers Time Deposits In Gold

A custodial or allocated account can be considered a kind of bank account; a share of an unallocated pool can be compared to a chequing account minus the cheques. The companies that offer them, though, are either the dedicated gold sellers or another kind of investment firm. There hasn't been a bank offering anything like a deposit account in gold since the fall of the gold standard; any banks that have sold gold have done so as investment firms by offering gold certificates.

Until now.

As a report webbed by the Telegraph explains, a Russian bank is now offering time deposit accounts denominated in gold.
Punters have to deposit a minimum of 100g of gold, or 10,000g of silver, worth $3,885 and $5,893 respectively. The interest rate depends on the term of the deposit, with options ranging from 181 to 732 days.

"A time deposit in precious metals is interesting to depositors who prefer to diversify their savings," said Ilya Filatov, deputy chairman of the board, in a recent interview. "We made sure of this when we launched the product in Moscow, Ufa and St Petersburg.

"That pilot product proved a success. A deposit in precious metals doesn't depend on exchange fluctuations and protects funds from inflation."

Part of the reason for the offering of the accounts is the recent devaluation of the ruble, but demand for gold is another. If a bank in Russia can make a profit on loaning out money derived from gold time deposits, it's only a matter of time before other banks in other countries get the idea they can do so too.

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