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June 29, 2021

Nervous Euro investors loading Swiss bank vaults with cash, gold

Europe is a bizarre place right now, a continent full of both unbridled joy and unmitigated economic disaster.

Stock-photo-7833839-safe-isolatedSo it goes, then, that even as the bright light of Euro 2012 casts a shadow on the debt woes of several key nations, nervous investors do what they can to protect themselves.

How do you do that in a time of market uncertainty, depreciating assets and general economic unease?

You take to Switzerland and fill up safety deposit boxes with gold, cash and jewellery.

By this Reuters report, wary investors are choosing to avoid the insecurity and volatility of Europe’s economy and store their assets in the one place broke governments or public policy can’t touch them.

*Bing: What is wrong with Europe’s economy?

According to several Swiss bank sources, a marked uptick in bank safe deposits is underway.

Bank notes, gold bars, cash and other valuables are being locked away, so much so that demand for safety deposit boxes has spiked at many Swiss banks.

Indeed, much of the continent appears to covet the security of a Swiss bank vault. One Italian businessman, according to Reuters, was recently caught trying to smuggle gold bars into Switzerland under his car seat.

But it isn’t just a desire for safety deposit boxes in the changing landscape among European wealth.

Instead of investing in stocks or mutual funds, Euros of means are choosing to sink their money into assets they feel won’t depreciate out from under them.

“Assets barely earn interest and blue-chip stocks move in one week what they used to move in one year,” Urlich Koerner, the COO of Swiss bank UBS, said.

“Against that backdrop, some people say they would rather buy a nice painting instead of a mutual fund.”

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...