Investment services firm BullionVault has been boosted by the recent bull run on gold as people look for a safe haven for their cash.
The group now holds more gold bullion bars on behalf of its clients than the central banks of Canada, Ireland and Mexico combined, after seeing its customer numbers soar by a third during the past year.
The total value of the gold it holds in secure vaults in London, New York and Zurich rose by 17% during the year to the end of October to 21.5 tonnes.
The rise in the value of gold held for clients was even greater, with this soaring by 57% to £587 million.
The group also saw an enthusiastic take-up of silver holdings, which it began offering in January, with these reaching 88.9 tonnes worth £44.5 million by the end of October.
The value of gold has soared to a record high during the past year as investors increasingly seek a safe haven for their cash.
Not only does the metal help to insulate people from the current problems surrounding government debt, but it is also seen as one of the best ways of inflation proofing investments.
BullionVault said its customer numbers had grown by a third during the year to nearly 21,000 people from 97 countries, with these people now collectively owning £613 million worth of physical gold and silver, as well as having some cash holdings.
The average gold holding of one of the group’s customers is £30,000, but there is no minimum investment, meaning people can deal in as little as one gram at a time, currently worth £28.50.
Paul Tustain, chief executive and founder of BullionVault, said: “Whereas 2008 and 2009 saw physical gold demand respond to specific financial shocks, this year demand has risen in a much steadier, more consistent manner.”