Liviu Dragnea demands that the National Bank bring gold reserves held abroad back to Romania

Ioana Erdei 27/02/2019 | 22:44

Chamber of Deputies President Liviu Dragnea and PSD senator Serban Nicolae have proposed a bill to force the National Bank to store 95 percent of Romania’s gold reserves in the country.

The bill is meant to change the Law that establishes the National’s Bank statute. According to the document, the reason for this demand is that gold stored abroad only produces additional costs with storage. The bill also wants to eliminate the world “international” from the terminology used by the National Bank in “international gold reserves”.

Romania’s gold reserves, in total of 103.7 tons, are stored in three countries, according to the National Bank officials.  Three years ago, the institution announced that 60 percent of the gold reserves were stored abroad. The situation has not changed – 61 tons of the gold is stored today in the Treasury of the National Bank of England, more than 40 tons of the gold is kept at the Bank of Romania in Bucharest and less than five tons are stored at the Bank of International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland.

National Bank official say that keeping a significant part of the gold reserve in London influences the country rating and boosts credibility for the Romanian financial market. The institution hasn’t shown interest in trading gold from the reserves in order to increase the amount, because there is a risk of losing everything in case the investment bank handling the transactions goes bankrupt.

In 2018, when asked by Business Review whether they were considering moving the gold reserve from Britain after Brexit, National Bank officials said no, since London is one of the world’s biggest financial centers.

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