Treasury floats gold jewelry ban for banks

Treasury floats gold jewelry ban for banks
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The Department of the Treasury is proposing a ban on gold jewelry for banks.

Investing in gold jewelry and certain other precious metals does not fall within the “business of banking,” the Treasury Department said Wednesday in the "Federal Register."

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As such, the Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is looking to block national banks and federal savings associations from buying and selling metals that are “primarily suited for industrial or commercial use,” such as gold jewelry, copper cathodes, and aluminum T-bars.

"The [Treasury Department] does not believe that dealing or investing in these metals is appropriate for national banks,” the agency wrote.

The gold jewelry ban would reverse a previous Treasury Department ruling under the Clinton administration that allowed banks to engage in certain trading activities.

The rule would not affect the ability of banks to circulate coins.

The Treasury would also create an exemption for banks that accept these materials as collateral for a loan.

The public has 60 days to comment.