Bank told to replace gold with beer

Source:Reuters Published: 2019/1/22 17:58:41

The Bank of England (BoE) was asked to consider moving the gold bars from its vaults so that a pub can move in during a hearing before a parliament spending watchdog.

Members of parliament's Public Accounts Committee had seized on a report by government auditors, which criticized the BoE for having more than 800 empty desks at its historic Threadneedle Street home in London's main financial district.

"If you're making it easier for staff to work ... at home, would there be any thought to renting out Threadneedle? Would we see a Wetherspoon's?" committee chair Meg Hillier asked, referring to the popular chain of pubs known for refurbishing abandoned high street premises.

But Bradley Fried, chair of the BoE's Court of Directors, pointed out a hitch in Hillier's plan.

"Threadneedle Street is a little bit unique, in that we are sitting on top of what is literally $180 billion worth of physical gold, actual physical gold," he said. A pub or other commercial tenant would create a security risk, he added.


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