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Ramifications of ViaMat PM Storage Announcement

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Published : February 26th, 2013
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Category : Gold and Silver

Switzerland has always been the world’s pre-eminent “safe-haven” investment jurisdiction; care of conservative financial institutions, the world’s most sound insurance industry, and a favorable tax and regulatory environment.  However, in today’s collapsing global economy, no place – or investment – is 100% safe.

As we approach the END GAME of the ill-fated GLOBAL FIAT CURRENCY REGIME; bankers have commandeered Western governments, instituting financial “martial law” on billions of unsuspecting citizens.  Thus, while Switzerland remains a preferred province for wealth protection, it is no longer what it once was.

The “chinks in its armor” first appeared in 2009, when several Swiss Banks – including mega-bank UBS – kowtowed to U.S. government demands to turn over lists of suspected tax evaders…

Swiss Bank UBS Sells out Clients to USA

…in one well-publicized case; yielding the bankruptcy of Switzerland’s oldest bank…

Oldest Swiss bank Wegelin to close after admitting aiding US tax evasion

However, the “shot-heard-round-the world” – regarding the relative “safety” of Swiss Franc investments – was the Swiss National Bank’s September 2011 decision to instantaneously devaluethe Franc by 7%.  By officially pegging the Franc to the cancerous Euro, the Swiss government joined “THE FINAL CURRENCY WAR” – to NEVER turn back…

Swiss Franc Collapses 7% – Swiss National Bank to Fix CHF to EUR and Debase Currency – September 2011

In recent years, U.S. government “financial repression” has increased; care of two particularly oppressive laws; FBAR (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) and “FATCA: ANOTHER REASON TO OWN REAL MONEY.”  Regarding the latter – which stands for Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act – it forces “foreign financial institutions” to report client assets; or else, face sanctions in their U.S.-based operations.  Given the Swiss are growing increasingly fearful of such sanctions, many of their institutions are starting to shun American clients.  Thus, it should come as no surprise that on Friday, the world’s leading Precious Metals storage company – ViaMat – announced it will no longer store metal for “private customers with potential U.S. tax liability”…

Leading Gold Storage Firm ViaMat Dumps All US Clients

ViaMat has not cut off American clients investing via offshore corporations; but per the notice below, all American individuals holding gold and silver in ViaMat vaults (in Zurich, Hong Kong, and Dubai) must withdraw their metals by mid-year…

At “MILES FRANKLIN, PROTECTION PROVIDER,” we investigate all possible angles in researching new products and services.  Nothing is fool-proof, but we spent two years putting together our Brink’s Montreal storage program, which we view as one of the world’s finest.

In our opinion, Canada is one of the safest – if not the safest – investment jurisdictions; with a long-history of partiality toward both Precious Metals and investment freedom.  Moreover, Montreal is just over the border from our Minneapolis headquarters; making it easy to audit the vault.  Two Miles Franklin officers count EVERY OUNCE of clients’ fully segregated metal each quarter; including that of our CEO David Schectman, President Andy Schectman, and Marketing Director – MYSELF; per my October 2012 RANT, “BREAKING NEWS”…

In fact, I will be traveling to Montreal this weekend to observe our 1Q 2013 audit; which, for the first time, will be performed simultaneously with an independent auditor.  After which, I will update my December 2011 RANT…


Nothing is “risk-free,” but as a U.S.-based company – operating in the politically safe nation of Canada – we do not believe Brink’s is under the same pressure as Swiss-based ViaMat.  Moreover, unlike ViaMat, Brink’s won’t deal with individual clients.  All metal is held in a fully segregated sub-account of Miles Franklin Precious Metal Storage; and thus, none of our clients would be deemed “private customers with potential U.S. tax liability.”

Furthermore, we are perhaps the only storage program (or at the least, one of a VERY select few) offering FIXED PRICING; as opposed to the industry standard of variable rate pricing.  That is, at least for the next three years, our prices will NOT increase with bullion prices; as will be the case essentially everywhere else…

We can make no “guarantees” in a world characterized by a rapidly changing political and economic landscape.  However, we believe our Brink’s Montreal storage solution is the most attractive option available; and if you are one of ViaMat’s soon-to-be-banished American clients, we can help you transfer your metal to our Canadian vault.

Don’t just take our word for it; but that of the Freedom Alliance, a subsidiary of the well-respected Sovereign Society.  Upon ViaMat’s announcement on Friday, the Freedom Alliance immediately issued the below notice, advising all ViaMat customers to consider our Brink’s storage program:

February 22, 2013



In the past, I have advised you in detail about how to purchase, store and protect your precious metals offshore, including in my June 2012 Offshore Confidential Special Report,
How to Protect Your Gold from the Government. You may want to download and review it now.

That’s because one of the major precious metal shipping and storage companies recommended in that report, VIAMAT INTERNATIONAL, announced on February 17 that it was dumping all of its American customers as of April 30, 2013.

With offices in New York, Miami and Los Angeles, and storage vaults in Zurich, Hong Kong and Dubai, this decision will cause major problems for U.S. citizens who are forced to transfer their gold, silver and other holdings elsewhere on relatively short notice.

The IRS Creates More Ugly Americans

VIAMAT laid the blame squarely on the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS); and by implication the IRS claim of jurisdiction over the entire world under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). VAIMAT management said they acted because of burdensome new tax rules and did not want to do business in “the U.S. to private customers with potential U.S. tax liability.”

Thus, VIAMAT follows the duplicitous Swiss banking giant, UBS and other Swiss and foreign banks, in dropping “ugly Americans” as clients, rather than deal with the trouble and expense of the IRS.

The Sovereign Society always has recommended that a sensible financial plan requires at least some part of your cash and assets, especially precious metals, be located outside the jurisdiction of the United States.

For those who may be ensnared by the VIAMAT decision, here is a sound solution with a well-established precious metals sales and storage company, founded in 1990, on which we have done due diligence.  Miles Franklin provides sales, shipment and storage of precious metals outside the U.S. in Canadian vaults where your holdings will not be reportable in the U.S.

If you are a victim of VIAMAT’s cancellation, Miles Franklin can arrange a transfer or the equivalent that will not be a taxable event.


Miles Franklin, 801 Twelve Oaks Center Drive, Suite #834, Wayzata, MN 55391
Toll Free: (800) 822-8080

Contact: Andrew Schectman, Direct: (800) 255-1129

Reporting Precious Metals

Under current U.S. reporting rules, offshore ownership by U.S. persons of precious metals titled directly in an individual’s name does not have to be reported either to the IRS under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) on IRS Form 8938, or the Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets or the U.S. Treasury’s Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) Form TD F 90-22.1.

If, however, the title of the precious metals is held in the name of a legal entity, such as a corporation under your control, they must be reported.

The other factor determining reporting is the offshore location of your gold or other precious metals. Such metals are reportable if they are held as a service of your offshore bank or financial institution, such as in a bank-provided safe-deposit box. They are not reportable if they are not held as part of bank account services, but in a non-bank vault or storage company.

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact us if we can assist you in any way.

Faithfully yours,

Bob Bauman JD
Chairman, The Freedom Alliance


If you have any questions about our Brink’s Montreal storage program, we are happy to answer them at any time.  Call 800-822-8080 or contact your broker directly.

Read the Friday Afternoon Wrap-Up for 2/22/2013, Weekend Thoughts, and the Monday Morning Commentary for 2/25/2013

Data and Statistics for these countries : Canada | Hong Kong | Switzerland | All
Gold and Silver Prices for these countries : Canada | Hong Kong | Switzerland | All
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Andrew Hoffman was a buy-side and sell-side analyst in the United States (including six years as an II-ranked oilfield service analyst at Salomon Smith Barney), but since 2002 his focus has been entirely in the metals markets, principally gold and silver. He recently worked as a consultant to junior mining companies, head of Corporate Development, and VP of Investor Relations for different mining ventures, and is now the Director of Marketing for Miles Franklin, a U.S.-based bullion dealer.
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