Gold in the financial system

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Reserve asset management

Reserve asset management

Managing risk in reserve asset portfolios

The past few years have seen a fundamental shift in central banks' behaviour with respect to gold. Since 2010, they have been net buyers of gold, driven in part by uncertainty over the future of the international monetary systems and the need to diversify reserves.

Gold can help central bank officials to manage market risk, improve portfolio performance and preserve national wealth.

UN workshop, 7th-8th November 2013

The UNITAR and World Gold Council joint seminar, ‘Gold and sustainability,’ examined gold’s role in promoting the stability of reserve portfolios. Held at the United Nations Secretariat building in New York, it was attended by representatives from permanent missions accredited to the United Nations, government officials from ministries of finance and mining, central bank officials, and academics.

Panellists and seminar participants discussed recent trends in central bank activity and reiterated the compelling case for increasing central bank gold allocations.

Executive Program in Gold Reserves Management

Register now for the April 2014 UC Berkeley four-day intensive programme for reserve asset managers. 

How the market works

The gold market operates through a well-established infrastructure of market makers and clearing. Gold trading, clearing and vaulting is determined around a number of clearly-defined standards.

View a short film on how gold is traded by gold market makers.

  • Gold demand by central banks

    Central banks’ behaviour with respect to gold has fundamentally shifted over the past few years. Since 2010, they have become net buyers of gold.

  • Expert training and research

    World Gold Council reserve asset management experts provide bespoke training sessions and research reports to major sovereign financial institutions.

  • Official gold holdings

    Download the most up to date information available on the official gold holdings of 126 countries.

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