Questions fréquentes, vue d’ensemble et guide détaillé

Terms and Conditions

Note: These terms of business are obsolete as of 26th May 2007. Please refer to our current terms of business.


  1. Prevailing version
  2. Deemed acceptance of these Terms and Conditions
  3. The purpose of our business relationship
  4. Data about you
  5. Identifying yourself
  6. Contact details
  7. Security
  8. Passwords
    The burglar alarm
    The linked bank account
    Returning reasonable value
  9. Communication between us
  10. Email
  11. Care of your money
  12. Pooled Accounts
    Acceptable ways of making deposits
    Withdrawing your money
    How we treat small balances
    Unsettled charges
    Confidentiality & money laundering
    Identification when depositing
    Cash deposits not accepted
  13. Care of your gold
  14. Warranted gold content
    What is a bailment ?
    What is a Vault Operator ?
    Bailments in BullionVault
    Form and location
    Small balances of gold
    Right of withdrawal
    Your right of transfer to an alternate vault
    Your right of sale on local bullion markets

  15. How your orders are processed
  16. Order validation
    Order matching
    Dealing Advice and Contract
    Clearing & Settlement
    Multiple currencies and vault locations
  17. Risk warnings
  18. Risks which are not a BullionVault responsibility
    Risks which are a BullionVault responsibility
  19. What of your activity is publicly visible ?
  20. Tariff
  21. System availability and downtime
  22. External regulation of BullionVault
  23. Correction of Errors
  24. Tax
  25. Force Majeure
  26. Law

Prevailing version

At any given time the prevailing Terms and Conditions are those posted on the BullionVault web site.

BullionVault may from time to time re-issue its Terms and Conditions. BullionVault must give 30 days notice of changes and send the new Terms and Conditions to the email address provided as a contact point by you. After thirty days BullionVault may post new Terms and Conditions on the BullionVault website and they shall become effective.

Deemed acceptance of these Terms and Conditions

You become a Customer unilaterally, by creating an account on-line. You are deemed to accept BullionVault's Terms and Conditions when you become a Customer, and if you do not close your account during a notice period you are deemed to accept BullionVault's revisions to its Terms and Conditions. You acknowledge that the BullionVault Terms and Conditions define the business relationship between BullionVault and yourself.

The purpose of our business relationship

You sign up to BullionVault in order to benefit from BullionVault's terms for trading in and storing gold bullion. You expect to enjoy efficient and substantially automated service, and pay low levels of commission and low levels of custody charges by comparison with alternate mechanisms for buying, holding and selling gold bullion.

In order to deliver against your expectations BullionVault offers a service designed for high levels of automation across the internet and expects to earn a profit from the commissions and custody fees it charges.

Data about you

To provide the service BullionVault needs to retain on its computers information about you and you permit BullionVault to do so.

Identifying yourself

Within 2 weeks of funding your account you undertake to verify your identity according to the identity verification procedures required by BullionVault. You authorise BullionVault to make such enquiries as it may feel necessary to satisfy itself about the validity of your identity. You accept that your failure to identify yourself correctly may negate some of the protections you seek in BullionVault.

Contact details

BullionVault maintains contact details with you at an email address and optionally at

  • a mobile telephone
  • a home telephone
  • a home address — via mail

You have a duty to keep your contact details held by BullionVault up to date and accurate. BullionVault is entitled to rely on the accuracy of the contact details supplied.

BullionVault notifies changes to contact details to your email address.

BullionVault is not responsible for any losses or costs of any kind which you might incur due to your failure to keep BullionVault informed about your current contact details.

BullionVault is not responsible for any losses or costs of any kind which you may incur due to your failure to monitor any prevailing contact point for an unreasonable time.



Your personal and financial data held at BullionVault are protected from unauthorised access by a password and other access data which you have a duty to keep secret.

Upon forgetting your password you may set a new one and have it validated by calling BullionVault and correctly answering a series of private questions about your account.

Modern encryption technology means BullionVault computers do not store your password in decipherable form and BullionVault staff do not know and cannot find out your chosen password.


Confidential data are passed across the internet using the https protocol, which incorporates a level of security widely accepted as offering extremely reliable privacy and accuracy in data transmission.

The burglar alarm

BullionVault implements additional security through mobile phone technology. Where enabled by you, and when the value on your account exceeds a certain threshold, BullionVault undertakes to send a text message to your phone, via SMS technology.

You accept a duty to inform BullionVault in the event that the operation of the Burglar Alarm system suggests unauthorised access to your account.

The linked bank account

BullionVault records details of your original remitting bank account, and thereafter (excluding special circumstances) BullionVault accepts responsibility for ensuring that funds withdrawn from your account are remitted back to the original funding bank account.

Where under special circumstances (for example, political revolution in your country of residence) exceptions are made to this rule, BullionVault is entitled to impose extensive identity verification procedures on you before releasing gold or money to you, and to seek insurance cover against identity fraud, all at your expense.

Returning reasonable value

You are entitled to rely on the correct operation of the BullionVault system in so far as it does not permit value in the form of money or gold respectively to be transferred away from your BullionVault account through trading activity without reasonable return of value in the opposite form (gold or money respectively).

Communication between us

You accept that the primary means of communication with BullionVault is via the internet.


BullionVault sends information to you by email, including - but not limited to - order confirmations, execution advices, contracts, monthly statements, and changes to Terms and Conditions. The BullionVault system records all outward email transmissions. BullionVault is entitled to rely on your receipt and acceptance of the content of an email if within 3 calendar days of the transmission no response by you has been received by BullionVault.

In the event that you communicate an issue with content of a BullionVault email after this date any resolution will be considered in the context of the delay, which may have a bearing on any resolution.

BullionVault email addresses can be found at the BullionVault contact page.


BullionVault may use voice or SMS on mobile phones as a means of contacting you rapidly.

BullionVault is entitled to rely on your receipt and acceptance of the content of SMS communications if within five minutes of the transmission no rejection of the information has been received by BullionVault. BullionVault is entitled to rely in this regard on the accuracy of its own transmission records when backed up by the independent confirmation of its telecommunications provider's records.

BullionVault is responsible for initiating SMS messages correctly according to the settings on your account, and ensuring that they are received by its SMS technology provider. But BullionVault is not responsible for losses you may incur as a result of an SMS message not being delivered in circumstances beyond BullionVault's direct control. This might occur if your cell phone was operating in a zone or on a service technology which was not reachable via the SMS technology providers employed by BullionVault.

If your account diminishes in size below a level at which it is reasonable to communicate via SMS then BullionVault reserves the right to suspend SMS outputs.


BullionVault may send information to you by post to your address on BullionVault records. BullionVault is entitled to rely on your receipt and acceptance of the content of posted communications if within 7 calendar days of the communication being sent no rejection of the information by you has been received by BullionVault.

If your account diminishes in size below a level at which it is reasonable to communicate via the post then BullionVault reserves the right to suspend posted outputs.

Care of your money

Pooled Accounts

BullionVault has selected the following bankers to look after your cash balance held at BullionVault:

   Lloyds TSB Bank plc [the bank]

Lloyds TSB Bank plc is one of the world's biggest banks. It is headquartered in London. It is the fourth largest of Britain's big four high street banks and operates a large branch network. It has a market capitalisation of £24 billion ($44 billion).

BullionVault will place funds received from you directly into segregated Client A/Cs maintained for multiple currencies at the bank for the express purpose of pooling un-invested BullionVault customer money.

In opening the account as a Client A/C the bank has acknowledged that the money on the account belongs collectively to BullionVault Customers and cannot rightfully be offset at the bank's discretion against debts on any other account - whether or not apparently related to BullionVault.

On your behalf BullionVault is permitted to manage the money on the segregated Client A/C exclusively for the following purposes:-

  1. It may be used to buy physical gold from another BullionVault account holder. In this case Customer money does not move from the bank account but the entitlement to it is transferred within BullionVault's records to the selling holder of vaulted gold, while simultaneously the ownership of vaulted gold is transferred to the buying Customer.
  2. It may be used to pay withdrawals of money by those entitled proportionately - but never beyond the extent that they own available funds.
  3. It may be used to pay BullionVault in respect of service and other charges earned according to the prevailing Terms and Conditions.
  4. It may be used to buy physical gold from the recognised bullion market. In this case BullionVault must - to the extent of the purchase consideration - (i) fund the segregated account with its own cleared funds pending acknowledged receipt of gold into a vault, and (ii) appropriately pay the relevant consideration to the bullion merchant.

BullionVault undertakes to maintain at all times within the segregated Client A/C sufficient funds to pay back the gross credit balances of all BullionVault Customers.

BullionVault undertakes to operate robust internal controls such that payments of Customer money at withdrawal get authorised only when at least 2 senior officers of BullionVault have inspected and approved the payment instructions.

The Client A/C shall be fully reconciled to BullionVault's own records every London banking day.

You acknowledge that the bank is entitled to act in good faith according to instructions given by BullionVault's officers.

Acceptable ways of making deposits

Your money deposits are acceptable only through recognised banking channels which for the time being means:-

SWIFT: Deposits are accepted from any authorised SWIFT bank. SWIFT deposits provide same day cleared funds upon receipt by BullionVault. By "SWIFT" is meant the widely recognised and operated means by which major banks make domestic and international payments between each other on behalf of their account holders. The BullionVault system includes a deposit screen which provides all the necessary details required by the transmitting bank.

Withdrawing your money

You may make withdrawals to the bank account from which your BullionVault account was funded. BullionVault will remit funds to bank accounts via SWIFT provided that it is satisfied with the circumstances of the withdrawal. BullionVault subtracts SWIFT transfer costs from the sum to be remitted.

In unusual circumstances (for example political revolution in your country of residence) BullionVault will allow withdrawals through alternative arrangements. You will then be required to provide reliable forms of identification and may in addition be required to indemnify BullionVault against identity fraud through the purchase at your expense of appropriate insurance.

How we treat small balances

Because of the cost of SWIFT transfer BullionVault will not pay residual account balances of less than $100 or other currency equivalent.

Ordinarily sums below this threshold will be retained for account re-activation except that after an account has been empty of gold and inactive for 2 years and remained beneath a currency equivalent balance of $20, this small balance may - at BullionVault's discretion - be accumulated and contributed in a single payment to a recognised children's charity, on Customers' joint behalf.

Where a small balance arises from a BullionVault promotion, and the account has neither been funded nor had the account holders identity verified according to BullionVault's verification procedure, then after any period of inactivity exceeding 3 months the balance may be returned to BullionVault's own resources as an unclaimed promotion.

Unsettled charges

If you retain a gold balance but do not have a sufficient available money balance to settle your custody charges accrued we have the right to redeem our entitlement by a sale of your gold but only to the extent needed, and to the nearest gram of gold.

Confidentiality, money laundering, and the linked bank account

BullionVault is designed to be a very secure home for legally acquired wealth. It is not a useful or secure resource for money launderers.

For reasons relating both to security and money laundering legislation BullionVault enforces the entry and exit of funds to the same bank account. Once a BullionVault account has been set up all subsequent deposits by you to that BullionVault account must be sourced from the same external bank account. Except in extremely unusual circumstances - such as political revolution in an investor's country of residence - BullionVault will only release funds back to the account through which an account was funded.

An attempt by you to fund an account with money from a different bank account will fail.

There will be no ability to transfer the funds between commonly owned accounts at BullionVault. To merge account balances a customer must withdraw funds and re-deposit them via the appropriate linked bank account.

BullionVault recognises your right to confidentiality where your identity has been properly validated. However if your identity is unvalidated for a period exceeding 2 weeks from the funding of an account, or where for whatever reason BullionVault becomes suspicious of an attempt at money laundering, BullionVault actively assists the appropriate authorities in their efforts to detect illegal money laundering activity. BullionVault also keeps comprehensive records of cash and gold dealing activity in order to assist the authorities in this regard.

Identification when depositing

When depositing money you accept responsibility for accurately identifying yourself with (i) your BullionVault account identifier and (ii) the source bank and bank account. BullionVault will reject or place into suspense any deposits which do not clearly identify their banking source and their account within BullionVault.

Suspended deposits may require lengthy validation in order to place them safely into the correct account, and BullionVault reserves the right to charge you for administering the service.

Cash Deposits

Customer deposits in cash are not accepted by BullionVault.

Care of your gold

Warranted gold content

In each of its vaults BullionVault has taken assayed bullion bars in settlement of purchases from recognised market professionals, and according to the practices which exist in that local market for bullion market purchases.

These bars constitute investment gold bullion (as defined by UK Customs and Excise 701/21) of warranted quality - being not less than 99.5% purity and of a weight accepted by the bullion markets.

BullionVault warrants that the bars in its published bar lists contain the assayed quantity of gold.

BullionVault warrants that every gram on your account is a gram of the 100% pure gold content (fine gold) of a 99.5% (or greater) assayed bullion bar held in the relevant vault.

What is a Vault Operator ?

A Vault Operator is a professional organisation of the highest reputation which is in the business of managing the receipt, storage and re-delivery of gold bullion bars according to the practices of a local professional bullion market.

BullionVault has engaged Brinks to operate as its vault operator in multiple locations.

Brinks owns and operates vaulting businesses in the major bullion trading locations in the world, and these are used by participants in the bullion markets to store gold bars within a carefully controlled environment.

You hereby engage BullionVault to act as your agent for the settlement and custody of gold bullion purchased and sold on the BullionVault system, provided that BullionVault is required to arrange the physical security of your gold at Brinks.

What is a bailment ?

A "bailment" occurs when a person [the bailor - you] delivers physical property into the possession of another person [the bailee - BullionVault] on condition that the goods are returned to the bailor at some later agreed date, or disposed of in accordance with the bailor's instructions. The essence of a bailment is that the bailee has physical possession of tangible materials which remain the outright property of the bailor.

A bailment is unavailable to the bailee's creditors because it is the outright property of the bailor [you]. The bailor [you] is therefore not exposed to the risk of insolvency of the bailee [BullionVault].

Your gold is held as a bailment. It is your outright property. You are the bailor.

Bailments in BullionVault

You agree that when your purchase of gold is transacted within the BullionVault system, the gold bullion purchased is to be delivered to the appropriate Vault Operator as a bailment, according to your instructions submitted exclusively to BullionVault. From that point forward the Vault Operator agrees to act as your bailee until the bailment is terminated at your instruction, again submitted exclusively via BullionVault.

You agree that when your sale of gold is transacted within the BullionVault system, the gold bullion sold is to be delivered by the Vault Operator on your behalf, terminating the bailment to the extent sold, as per your instructions, submitted exclusively to BullionVault.

BullionVault confirms that Vault Operator has acknowledged that gold it receives as a bailment through this mechanism is your outright property, which has been made subject of the bailment solely for the purpose of safekeeping, and in return for a fee paid by BullionVault on your behalf.

You acknowledge that the Vault Operator is entitled to act in good faith according to instructions given by BullionVault's officers.

The Vault Operator and BullionVault together undertake to you that the bullion bailment will not be subject to any kind of lending, collateral or derivative transaction of any type and will remain your property until sold or withdrawn according to your instructions passed via BullionVault.

You acknowledge that your ownership does not relate to a specific bar but to a specific quantity of material in a specific vault. BullionVault acknowledges that the material you own exists and is in the vault, and that being physical it is ultimately capable of being sub-divided into measurable amounts of property which you own outright as your property.

BullionVault maintains the master copy of ownership records. BullionVault agrees with you that these records shall only be modified upon the execution of valid instructions, made according to these Terms and Conditions.

BullionVault shall publish reconciled records of bullion ownership on its website on a daily basis.

At least 2 remote data storage sites shall receive a duplicate of the records of ownership once a week, and a daily schedule of ownership changes.

Form and location

Bullion which you buy through BullionVault will remain in the vault at which it was stored at the time of the purchase, which will be known to you.

This gold will be held as weighed and numbered bars in the specific vault location. The bar form will be acceptable in settlement of local bullion markets sales.

Bar lists will from time to time be provided by the Vault Operator. BullionVault will daily provide the means for you to view and validate your ownership of a proportion of the bullion described on the bar list.

How we treat small balances

Where a small balance arises from a BullionVault promotion, and the account has neither been funded nor had the account holders identity verified according to BullionVault's verification procedure, then after any period of inactivity exceeding 3 months the balance may be returned to BullionVault's own resources as an unclaimed promotion.


BullionVault undertakes to ensure your bullion is properly insured against theft and damage according to the accepted insurance standards of the bullion industry, and at a cost which is included in the charge you pay to BullionVault in respect of custody of your bullion.

Right of withdrawal

You have a right of withdrawal of your gold from BullionVault, but you acknowledge BullionVault is not designed primarily as a service for those who wish to take physical possession of bullion.

Your wish to withdraw bullion will be accommodated only in the form of whole numbers of appropriate bar sizes.

The withdrawal fee for good delivery bars will be not more than 2.5% of value. The withdrawal fee for smaller bars in smaller amounts will be not more than 7.5% of value.

To make physical withdrawals you will be required to provide reliable forms of identification and may in addition be required to indemnify BullionVault against identity fraud through the purchase of appropriate insurance.

Upon withdrawing bullion you accept that you may lose anonymity where these transactions are monitored by appropriate authorities.

Your right of transfer to an alternate vault

You have a right of transfer of gold within BullionVault from one BullionVault vault to another, but only in the form of entire and appropriate bars. Transfers of this kind are performed through the Vault Operator's own accredited bullion couriers. Vault and courier charges are variable and can be quoted at the time.

If it is not possible for transferred bars from one location to be accepted as good delivery in the alternate location of your choice there may be additional charges to cover the selling of your gold sold and its replacement with a locally acceptable form.

BullionVault makes a 0.5% arrangement fee for this service subject to a minimum of $500.

Your right of sale on local bullion markets

You have a limited right to sell gold bullion in the bullion market local to the vault where your gold is stored. When your gold holding in a particular vault exceeds the local good delivery unit you can sell whole bars direct to that market.

The local good delivery unit in both London and Zurich is usually a 400 troy oz bar (about 12.500 kg).

The local good delivery unit in New York is usually a 100 troy oz bar (about 3.110 kg).

Your right to execute these sales is restricted by the practices of the local bullion market, which may mean there are minimum trade sizes over and above single bars. You also understand and accept that physical bullion delivery on your behalf requires real bars, whose fine weights vary from bar to bar, which may require you to trade to an exact weight on your BullionVault a/c prior to selling and delivering.

If you use this right you will pay BullionVault's normal commission rates and, in addition, all market charges.

Ordinarily this right will not be useful to you, because usually your gold could be sold at a higher price (net of expenses) through BullionVault. However the right ensures that you will not be significantly disadvantaged by a lack of liquidity on BullionVault's public order board.

To exercise this right you will need to contact BullionVault directly by telephone.

How your orders are processed

You acknowledge your competence to trade having read and understood relevant aspects of the operation of the BullionVault system from the on-line help system accessed from

You understand that you may enter orders to buy and sell gold on the BullionVault system, at quantities, prices and physical locations under your control, but only when having sufficient resources already at BullionVault to effect immediate settlement.

You agree that your orders are to be submitted to BullionVault's servers by yourself via the internet.

Order Validation

BullionVault will accept your orders to buy gold, in any vault, provided the purchase limit price is specified in a currency in which you have sufficient available funds to settle the entire purchase.

BullionVault will accept your orders to sell gold from a given vault for any currency, provided the quantity specified is currently stored and available on your behalf in the vault specified.

BullionVault accepts your orders at prices broadly consistent with current market prices.

If one or more of the above conditions are not met your order will be rejected.

Order matching

Your orders on BullionVault are always limited as to price. Purchase limits place a maximum buying price on your purchase orders. Sale limits place a minimum selling price on your selling orders.

Your orders are also limited as to quantity of bullion (measured in kilograms).

On receipt of your order the BullionVault system automatically attempts to match the order with another customer's prior and opposing order, and subject to both customers' limits. The system will trade at the most attractive prices for the new order, achieving lowest possible price within the limit for purchases, and highest possible price above the limit for sales.

Any pre-existing order posted on the order board against which a new order is matched will achieve exactly its limit price.

To the extent that an order can be executed against pre-existing limit orders posted by other BullionVault users the order is executed immediately, and to as great an extent as possible (i.e. the smaller quantity of the two orders) before any other order received subsequently is processed. To the extent that it cannot be executed it may — at your request — be itself posted as a limit order on the BullionVault order board until it expires through age, cancellation or otherwise.

Your order ranks behind all valid limits past or future which offer a more attractive price. It ranks ahead of all valid orders past or future which offer a less attractive price. It ranks behind all valid orders at the same price, received by BullionVault before it, and ahead of all valid orders at the same price received by BullionVault after it.

Dealing Advice and Contract

BullionVault will acknowledge executed orders and parts thereof to you via email shortly after each execution occurs.

The completion of an order - either through deal executions or order cancellation when only part executed - will result in BullionVault sending you, via email, a formal contract in respect of the complete amounts traded as a result of the original order.

Clearing & Settlement

You authorise BullionVault to accept your order as an instruction to settle immediately in the event that your order executes.

BullionVault accepts full responsibility for the ability of executed orders to settle. It stands as guarantor behind any purchase that the seller is able to deliver gold to the purchaser in the quantity purchased. It stands as guarantor behind any sale that the purchaser is able to pay currency to the seller for the consideration of the sale.

Settlement of a BullionVault transaction happens instantaneously at the point of trade.

The buyer receives gold and the seller is credited with money net of expenses. Similarly the buyer is debited with cash net of expenses and the seller makes delivery of gold.

The delivery of gold in settlement is effected by book entry within the BullionVault system. Your resulting gold balance represents outright ownership of gold held at the relevant vault.

BullionVault instructs the Vault Operator in its capacity as managing agent for your custody requirement. The inward delivery of gold for a buying customer is always matched exactly with a simultaneous but opposite outward delivery of gold for a selling customer. No material changes arise at the vault as a result of instantaneous settlement.

The payment of money is effected by book entry within the BullionVault system. Your resulting BullionVault money balance represents your currency assets of segregated Client money held at the bank.

BullionVault instructs the bank in its capacity as a managing agent for your segregated funds. The receipt of proceeds (net of expenses) for a selling Customer opposes a simultaneous payment of consideration (net of expenses) for a buying Customer. No material changes arise at the bank as a result of settlement.

BullionVault guarantees that the settlement of funds occurs simultaneously with the delivery of gold.

You can immediately see your new gold and money balances on the BullionVault system.

At the end of each business day BullionVault undertakes to publish on-line a full reconciliation of gold and money to the underlying currency statements from the bank and bar lists from the vault.

Multiple currencies and vault locations

BullionVault accepts orders in respect of vaulted gold in various locations, and potentially in multiple currencies. An order is only capable of being matched against an order in the same currency entered in respect of the same vault location.

It may be the case that an order on one BullionVault location and in one currency could have been dealt by executing against one or more limits on other locations and via other currencies. BullionVault does not accept responsibility for identifying and executing such arbitrage opportunities.

Risk warnings

The following lists indicate such risks as BullionVault considers material. It does not constitute a statement of all possible risks.

Risks which are not a BullionVault responsibility

Gold price movements — You are exposed to the risk of potential loss arising from a falling gold price during the time in which you own gold. This risk is not a BullionVault responsibility.

Money politics — Governments and other agencies seeking currency stability, or for other reasons, might seek to constrain or tax the ownership of gold to the disadvantage of its owners. BullionVault provides for multiple locations from which you may choose one or more. The actuality or fear of government action might affect the value of gold stored in a given location. This risk is not a BullionVault responsibility.

Bank insolvency — Your cash balances at BullionVault are deposited in segregated accounts at a well established bank but are dependent on bank integrity. All banks are subject to possible failure. Depending on a number of factors in the event of bank failure you might be entitled to receive compensation from appropriate authorities, but the terms of such compensation are complex and the timescale for receiving compensation might be long. This risk is not a BullionVault responsibility. [Note that when your money is used to buy gold your exposure to bank insolvency ceases]

Identity theft — If your BullionVault account number and password are compromised you are at risk of unauthorised access to your account. Such access will be alarmed within minutes by SMS messages if your BullionVault Burglar alarm is enabled and your account of sufficient size. Any withdrawal resulting from use of a compromised password would only be to your original funding bank account or - in very unusual circumstances - would be in person, in which case it would be subject to indemnity insurance taken out by BullionVault, at the withdrawer's expense, which would compensate you against loss. As a result the most serious risk arising from the theft of a password are (i) loss of privacy and (ii) the entering of mischief orders on BullionVault - which would execute at market prices and thereby potentially switch you between gold and money - or vice versa - at prevailing values but not according to your wishes. An attempt to bleed your account of value in favour of another account would be reversed whenever advised in reasonable time, and would of course lead to detection and prosecution of any criminal activity without gain. In these ways BullionVault seeks to minimise the risks to you associated with identity theft but these are not a BullionVault responsibility unless the breach of security can be shown to have occurred because of BullionVault's error.

Liquidity risk — BullionVault is available only to its users, so your ability to convert your gold into money depends on there being another user bidding for that gold. It is possible that liquidity could dry up leaving you temporarily unable to realise the apparent value of a bullion holding within BullionVault. This risk is mitigated by affording users a right of sale on the local bullion market although it is conceded by BullionVault that this is not ordinarily a cost effective solution for you. Naturally all system users - including BullionVault on it own account - are powerfully motivated to bid for under-priced gold in an illiquid markets as the transaction has a high probability of being profitable, and BullionVault is unusual in enabling all participants to do so publicly. But even then risks associated with a lack of liquidity are not a BullionVault responsibility.

System availability — BullionVault's computerised machinery, which is accessed by you across the internet, might become inaccessible for periods of time. This could prevent you from executing a transaction which you would otherwise have made. This risk is not a BullionVault responsibility.

Insurance exclusions - As your property such exclusions as are imposed by insurance underwriters in line with established insurance practice are risks you undertake with respect to your gold, except that no exclusion absolves BullionVault in undertaking its correct duties of care in arranging the security of your property.

Force Majeure — The risks described under Force Majeure are not BullionVault responsibilities.

Risks which are a BullionVault responsibility

BullionVault accepts it has specific duties of care with regard to all aspects of risk to your property and undertakes at all times to manage risks so as to contain them at minimal levels, consistent with best business practices.

BullionVault seeks no limitation of liability with regard to its responsibilities for the stated risks or any un-stated risks for which it might be found responsible.

Physical bullion theft — Your gold could conceivably be stolen from a vault by determined thieves. It is the Vault Operator which accepts a duty to retain sufficient security measures, and to maintain cover against such an eventuality either in terms of its own resources or its insurance policies. BullionVault accepts a responsibility to regularly monitor the Vault Operator to ensure the maintenance of a sufficient and certified insurance cover.

Theft of Customer money — Money held in the segregated Client accounts could be illegally transmitted through the banking system by a determined thief, or thieves, operating within BullionVault. At any one time the ability to initiate outward transfers of money from the Client account rests with two senior individuals at BullionVault who must both approve payments. The responsibility for daily reconciliation rests with a third. An attempted theft is highly unlikely to be attempted, highly likely to be detected almost instantaneously, and highly unlikely ever to succeed. BullionVault accepts full liability for any losses arising from this risk.

BullionVault segregation management — A failure by BullionVault's system to prevent a customer from over-purchasing beyond his cash balance, or over-selling beyond his gold balance would render a segregated account temporarily incapable of meeting its obligations to other customers. All BullionVault software is designed to eliminate this eventuality. Moreover BullionVault checks its accounts daily for such eventualities. The risk of material loss is extremely small, because any such over-trading would be substantially offset by a surplus in the opposite segregated account. BullionVault accepts liability for any Customer losses arising from this risk.

BullionVault record keeping — a risk in all business record keeping systems is that internal records may show a position which satisfies the organisations officers but does not represent the real world, and where the problems only come to light when it is too late. The risk rises with increasing complexity of transactions and the availability of credit, neither of which apply to BullionVault. For all businesses the record keeping risk is statutorily addressed by annual audit. In addition BullionVault controls its record set by voluntarily submitting its daily reconciliations of Customer property to public inspection on the web. BullionVault accepts liability for any customer losses arising from failures in its own record keeping systems.

BullionVault insolvency — A failure by BullionVault to manage its business successfully might render BullionVault insolvent. The insolvency of BullionVault would not affect your property rights with regard to money or gold in a BullionVault account, but it would be likely to create some inconvenience for you in taking hold of that property.

Disastrous data loss — BullionVault's system contains data in electronic form which could conceivably be lost in a widespread and catastrophic machinery failure. BullionVault operates a redundant machinery policy which means that every component of its data storing capability is protected by both local and remote data duplication. The likelihood of a simultaneous loss of all data copies is extremely low. However, in addition to this the system prints out a complete system balance once a week, sends an encrypted copy to remote data vaults, and during each week logs in paper format all transactions, ensuring that data loss is a temporary inconvenience, not a disaster. Moreover you can save the published reconciliation of your property on your own computer, thereby duplicating that part of the records which relates to your own property.

What of your activity is publicly visible ?

In the interest of transparency and good marketplace practice certain information is made freely available to users.

  • You may post limit Orders on the BullionVault website and the best prices available combine to define the current trading prices of gold on BullionVault. The best prices, and their associated Order sizes are published on the site. In this way your Orders ordinarily become visible to other users of the system, but not in a way which is attributable to you.
  • A transaction ticker reports on the BullionVault website the prices and sizes of trades which have been executed. In this way your transactions ordinarily become visible to other users of the system, but not in a way which is attributable to you.
  • Vault Bar Lists are produced by the vault manager and reconciled to the holdings of entitled BullionVault holders of gold at that vault. The reconciliation is published, but only identifies you by an alias (or nickname), which is a private and unique label chosen for the purpose by you and typically only recognised by you.
  • Bank statements of segregated accounts are treated in the same way. Together these reconciliations enable you to see that your property is an identified part of a reconciled pool of all users' property, held at arms length from BullionVault. In this way your cash and gold balances ordinarily become visible to other users of the system, but not in a way which is attributable to the you.
  • BullionVault may report your activity to duly authorised government agencies with a formal right to monitor gold trading activity.


The prevailing BullionVault tariff is published on the BullionVault website.

Charges are ordinarily settled out of your cash resources on BullionVault. In the event that charges are outstanding because you have neither paid money in, nor raised cash by selling gold, BullionVault has the right to sell gold to raise money sufficient to pay the charges, but this right is limited to a single sale in any one year raising $50 or 0.2% of your gold, whichever is the higher.

Commission rates

Commission rates for both purchases and sales are applied according to the aggregate value of bullion traded throughout the calendar year - starting on first trade date. They are as follows:-

  Sum of all
purchases in
the year so far
Commission rate
on the purchase
Up to $30,000 0.800%
The next $30,000 0.400%
The next $540,000 0.100%
then   0.020%
  Sum of all
sales in
the year so far
Commission rate
on the sale
Up to $30,000 0.800%
The next $30,000 0.400%
The next $540,000 0.100%
then   0.020%

Commission not subject to a minimum

There is no minimum commission per trade. Regular small volume traders will pay commissions of $0.01 per trade on deals up to $50 in value.

Custody charges

The custody charge is 0.12% per annum.

It is computed on pro-rata daily balances, so ordinarily there is no charge for days you do not own gold. 

The custody charge is charged monthly at 0.01% and subject to a minimum monthly fee of $4 or approximate foreign currency equivalent during any month in which a balance is held at any time.

Dollar value
of your gold
Typical annual
custody charge
Effective annual
% rate
$5,000 $48 0.960%
$10,000 $48 0.480%
$20,000 $48 0.240%
$30,000 $48 0.160%
$40,000 $48 0.120%
$50,000 $60 0.120%
$75,000 $90 0.120%
$100,000 $120 0.120%
$250,000 $300 0.120%
$500,000 $600 0.120%
$1,000,000 $1,200 0.120%

Burglar Alarm Charging

BullionVault debits a fee to cover the messaging costs of the Burglar Alarm each time it sounds.

The charge per SMS is 20 cents or approximate foreign currency equivalent.

Funds wire

When you withdraw your money the cost of wiring funds direct to your bank is deducted from the amount withdrawn.

The charge is $30 or approximate foreign currency equivalent.

Miscellaneous Time and Materials billing

BullionVault reserves the right to charge for its Time and Materials in respect of its internal administration and services where those services could reasonably have been supplied via its website. The standard hourly rate for time billings is $50 per hour or currency equivalent.

Machinery utilisation billing

BullionVault reserves the right to charge for inappropriate use of its servers by automated web trading devices which operate without appropriate regard for the BullionVault resources their devices require. Ordinarily these charges will not be applied without fair warning.

System availability and downtime

The system is scheduled to operate continually each week from 09.00 GMT Sunday to 05.00 GMT Sunday the following week.

There may also be planned service interruptions at other times where maintenance requires urgent action which cannot wait until a weekend. Such service interruptions will where possible be planned at times of lower public demand for the service.

Where service interruption is planned and you have an open order your order will ordinarily survive the service interruption.

When an unscheduled service interruption occurs and you have an open order your order will ordinarily be removed at the resumption of the service and any un-traded element of the order will be treated as cancelled.

We will endeavour to keep you informed via email when you have open orders during a period of unscheduled service interruption, but the nature of the service interruption may make it impractical for us to do this.

You accept that service interruption is an unavoidable event on networked computers. You accept our terms for handling service interruption vis-a-vis your open orders. You understand that leaving a firm order on the order board can expose you to risks which are increased in the event of a service interruption, and you accept those risks.

External regulation of BullionVault

BullionVault is an English Limited Company regulated by English Law which covers well established Western principles of statutory property rights and statutory company law.

Regulatory responsibility rests on three mutually independent arms of law enforcement: (i) the investigating authority, (ii) the prosecuting authority and (iii) the Criminal Courts.

  • The investigating authority is the London Metropolitan Police Force. It is independently funded out of civil taxation and its role is to investigate reports of crimes and to produce a report for the prosecuting authority. Theft and Fraud fall under its areas of responsibility.
  • The prosecuting authority is the UK Crown Prosecution Service. It is independently funded out of civil taxation and its role is to prosecute breaches of statute law where evidence gathered by the investigating authority produces a reasonable prospect of conviction.
  • The Criminal Court system hears the cases of the prosecuting authority, establishes guilt or innocence through the jury system, and empowers judges to punish. It too is independently funded out of civil taxation.

There is no cost to you in reporting a crime and it is the duty of the above authorities to bring before the courts a case against BullionVault or its officers arising from a breach by BullionVault of statute law.

In addition you have recourse to the civil law, which would rule on disputes between you and BullionVault arising when either alleges against the other a damaging breach of these stated Terms and Conditions. Bringing and defending a case under civil law would ordinarily incur costs.

You understand and acknowledge that together with the whole of the London Gold Bullion Market BullionVault's regulatory status is markedly different from the financial services industry.

Modern financial services businesses throughout Europe and America tend to be companies which deal in paper based instruments generally called 'securities', and these are subject to increasing legal sophistication and regulation.

Because BullionVault offers a credit-free environment, and because it deals in the absolute ownership of physical metal, and not paper based contractual rights, it falls outside the defined scope of formal financial services regulation, as does the rest of the physical gold bullion industry in London.

The London Gold Bullion market - which is the biggest in the world - is instead regulated by traditional English property law, and not by the United Kingdom's Financial Services Authority.

We believe this offers a clearer and better enforced regulatory environment. In BullionVault you own gold, and not a piece of paper evidencing an entitlement under a trust. The property right this gives you is much simpler, better established, and less subject to change than modern securities law.

Correction or Errors

Record Keeping Error

In the event of administrative error BullionVault is entitled after the event to make appropriate adjustments to records of your account.

Trading System Error

Neither BullionVault nor you has the right to make profits from trading system failures.

The BullionVault system is designed to protect all users from clear trading errors by rejecting orders priced substantially away from the prevailing gold price. This protection depends on receiving currency and bullion market price data from a variety of digital sources. The effectiveness of this protection is to an extent out of BullionVault's reasonable control. In the event of a failure to protect participants in this way both BullionVault and you accept that reasonable adjustments may be made after the event in order to ensure the marketplace operates fairly to all participants.


You are responsible for paying such local taxes as are or may be applied on gold purchases, gold sales and gold custody, and on any associated charges, and such taxes are added to charges where appropriate*.

*At the time of writing most gold trading is completely tax free.

Force Majeure

BullionVault shall not be liable to you for any delay or failure by it to perform its obligations if such delay or failure arises from any unforseeable causes beyond its reasonable control including, but not limited to, acts of God, floods, lightning, earthquakes, labour disputes, shortages, rationing, utility failures, war, terrorism, riot, embargoes, and actions of any government agency or subdivision thereof.


The law governing the provision of the BullionVault service to the Customer is the law of England.