€1bn of Irish gold in vaults

Some 10,000 Irish people have gold worth an estimated €1 billion stored in Switzerland, according to one of the founders of a new safety deposit business, reports todays Irish Times.

Seamus Fahy, of safety deposit service Merrion Private Vaults, says that since he and his co-investor, David Walsh, set up the business, they have discovered that large numbers of Irish people have invested in gold as a partial defence against the economic turbulence of recent years. However, because there is little or no capacity to store the precious metal here, it is kept in Switzerland, where it is bought.

Customers are then charged about 1 per cent of the value of their holding every year for the service. “The actual number of people is around 10,000, and their average holding is €100,000,” Mr Fahy said at the weekend. He said the figures came from a client who had recently retired from an international gold company responsible for approximately two-thirds of this business in Ireland. Gold prices have soared in the past five years as investors and central banks sought safe havens against the volatility in capital markets that accompanied the financial collapse and recession.

Mr Fahy and Mr Walsh have invested about €3 million in establishing Merrion Private Vaults. The boxes are stored in a purpose-built vault close to Merrion Square in central Dublin. Source: The Irish Times.