China’s ICBC Standard Bank announced today that is has agreed to buy Barclays’ London precious metals vaulting business in a move to broaden its capabilities in precious metals clearing and storage services.
Barclays non-core rundown continues with the sale of its precious metals vault.
The agreement, for which the financial terms have not yet been revealed, is expected to be completed in July and will make ICBC Standard the only Chinese bank to operate a vault in London, a key trading and storage centre for precious metals.
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The vault, which opened in 2012 and has a capacity of 2,000 tonnes of gold, was built after a long bull run in gold elevated prices to record highs. It is used to store gold, silver, platinum and palladium and is one of the largest in Europe.
Barclays announced its decision to exit from precious metals in January and moved the business into its non-core operations.
In a statement issued by Barclays, John Mahon, a co-leader of the division of the bank known as Barclays Non-Core, said: “This sale represents further progress with our noncore rundown as we work to simplify Barclays’ operations and achieve our cost and capital reduction commitments.”
Last week, ICBC joined the London clearing system for gold, silver, platinum and palladium, which is managed by London Precious Metals Clearing Limited (LPMCL).