Two major Swiss banks have vastly increased their charges to store bullion, it has emerged.
Insiders with knowledge of the situation have informed the Financial Times that UBS and Credit Suisse have ramped up their fees for holding gold by around 20 per cent in an attempt to reduce the size of their balance sheets.
Switzerland has traditionally been regarded by commodities traders as the best place to stash bullion, although this trend may now change as banks in the country are becoming increasingly reluctant to offer "unallocated" accounts.
Under the terms of these packages, depositors' bullion appear on financiers' balance sheets which, in turn, forces companies to boost their capital reserves.
Therefore, the likes of UBS and Credit Suisse are eager to get clients to sign up for "allocated" accounts instead, whereby they merely act as a custodian to the bullion as opposed to it formally being included in their assets.
One source commented: "When it's on balance sheets, it does create costs."
By Gary Cooper