Market Standards

Vault Storage

Vaults provide secure locations for storing gold and silver bars (bullion), and act as gatekeepers to the Loco London Precious Metals Market. They are its custodians.

London is the largest gold trading centre in the world, with some US$60 billion of gold traded each day. Precious metals held in London vaults by custodians underpin the market’s clearing and trading.

Who are the custodians?

There are six custodians offering vaulting services in the Loco London Market. Three of these are clearing members of LBMA:

  • HSBC
  • ICBC Standard Bank
  • JP Morgan

Those clearing members without their own dedicated vault operations use their accounts with one of the other custodians. The other security carriers are LBMA members:

  • Brinks
  • Malca Amit
  • Loomis International (UK) Ltd

The Bank of England also offers a custodian service for gold only. LBMA members and other organisations hold gold custody accounts with the Bank, which reputedly has the second-largest gold vault in the world. We include the Bank’s data on its vault holdings in our monthly data.

Maintaining standards

LBMA clearing members with vaulting facilities also physically check and weigh all the bars that are new to the market, ensuring they meet our strict Good Delivery standards for metal quality.

Although LBMA does not approve or accredit new vaults, we have compiled best practice guidelines for new vaults – as well as for the safe packing, transportation and storage of gold and silver bars.