Liechtenstein: Tiny Nation, Major Financial Stronghold
By Rich Checkan
In our continuous search for the best places in the world for you to store your precious metals, we called upon an old friend, Axel Diegelmann, of the firm, Liemeta AG. He joins us today to discuss the unique benefits of storing precious metals, art and jewelry in the Principality of Liechtenstein.
Rich: How does the history of Liechtenstein impact your precious metals storage programs?
Axel: We are the only Principality in the world where a Constitutional Monarchy truly rules. This means our legislature cannot unilaterally change the laws, especially with regard to our banking and financial institutions.
We have strong privacy protection rules that cannot be circumvented. For example, we do not have any form of 'emergency laws.' This means our government cannot confiscate any property that is private under any circumstances, whether a financial crisis, or a terrorist attack. This makes a strong case for storing metals here, in an uncertain world.
Rich: You offer several storage options. Can you please outline them for us?
Axel: Yes, we are proud to offer several solutions for our clients.
One is a segregated storage solution in a high security building we own. Most ASI clients will choose this option. As I mentioned, our government can never take away real estate, like the way you have in the U.S. Owning the facility is an extra protection for clients in times of crisis.
As important, your precious metals are always allocated and insured. We do not store unallocated precious metals. Every bar is numbered, and all coin packages are sealed.
Another solution is our bonded warehouse for very large holdings, commercial or institutional owners. We also offer vaults, safety deposit boxes, and even entire vault rooms.
Rich: Tell us a bit about the insurance you offer.
Axel: Whether you store precious metals, jewelry, diamonds, or art with us, you are insured through a Lloyd’s of London affiliate. In fact, your holdings are automatically insured for more than the purchase price to allow for appreciation. We also have evaluators who determine the insured value of art, jewelry and assets other than the precious metals you want to store.
Your certificate of insurance can be issued for the entire contents of your vault or box, or on an individual asset. The certificate is issued in your name or anonymously, for further privacy.
Rich: Do you help clients facilitate transfer between different storage facilities?
Axel: We offer Brinks or Loomis storage facilities in many cities including, Zurich, Miami, New York, London, Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, Panama, Cayman Islands, and Toronto. If you want to transfer your allocated holdings, our logistics manager watches over the moving process so the chain of title is always preserved.
All this can be accomplished within three to seven days once you give the order to transfer your holdings to a different facility.
Rich: Tell us more about your privacy rules.
Axel: We are not a bank. We have no mandated exchange of information requirements. For example, if a storage client is sued, we will not reveal any details of their holdings unless the trial is in Liechtenstein and it is a criminal, not a civil trial. So, we offer safety on two levels: the physical safety for your assets, and the safety of legitimate privacy protection for you.
Rich: What is the Liechtenstein-Swiss connection, and does it affect storage considerations?
Axel: An important question. We are not in the EU, but we belong to the European Free Trade Association and the European Economic Area.
Also, we have a customs union and monetary union with Switzerland. This means certain larger and institutional clients who would otherwise be subject to an 8% Swiss VAT if they took their assets out of our country, would be shielded. (This is only for silver, platinum, and diamonds. Gold is not subject to the VAT).
Our solution, was the bonded warehouse alternative that we discussed. We negotiated long and hard with the Swiss Customs authorities to get this bonded warehouse tax exemption.
Rich: Few U.S. tourists find their way to Liechtenstein. Do you often receive visits from those who store with you?
Axel: My door is personally always open to ASI clients. Our country is only 62 square miles with about 37,000 in population. Yet, we have a very grand history in this small country. We are the third richest in the world’s GDP when adjusted for purchasing power, and number one if you don’t take our higher cost of living into account!
Our storage clients are always welcome. Come to visit history and come to ski. I believe you will find a fascinating country.
Michael and I have both visited Axel in his state-of-the-art facility in Triesen, Liechtenstein on separate occasions. We both agree on what we saw…
The depository is immaculate, secure and is run with the precision of a fine Swiss watch. The jurisdiction is among the best in the world for financial assets, and Axel is completely aligned philosophically with Michael and me.
Most importantly, Axel and his team understand customer service.
To reach Axel, simply call our ASI Preferred Client Relations representatives at 800-831-0007, or send us an email and mention Liechtenstein storage. We will get you connected with Axel so you can Keep What’s Yours… in Liechtenstein.