As monetary gold is held for similar reasons among all central banks, it seems appropriate for there to be a single method for the accounting and reporting of this asset by central banks. However, current general purpose financial reporting frameworks lack appropriate guidance on accounting for monetary gold.

The diversity of monetary gold accounting practices prompted the World Gold Council to undertake a study of central bank monetary gold accounting practices, first published in 2016 and updated in 2022 as Central bank accounting practices for monetary gold – 2022 update. The update adds central banks banks covered, better aligns practices with accounting frameworks, and expands the number of gold accounting issues covered.

In the absence of a suitable framework, monetary authorities have adopted a variety of different treatments, making comparability difficult, while weakening the central banks’ accountability framework. Several central banks approached the World Gold Council for assistance on this issue and, as a result, we commissioned this Guidance.