The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) is the professional organisation that oversees the wholesale gold and silver markets in London, England - centre of the world's physical bullion trading.

The LBMA sets and maintains the very highest standards in refining, documenting and storing every gold and silver bar allowed to circulate at "spot prices" in the professional market.

BullionVault enables private individuals like you to buy and sell LBMA-approved gold bullion and to hold it in secure LBMA-approved storage facilities. It was formally admitted as a full member of the LBMA in Sept. 2008.

Formed in 1987 after close consultation between London's leading bullion banks and the UK central bank, the Bank of England, the LBMA's membership now runs to 119 companies in 21 countries. They include the world's leading bullion banks, precious metals dealers, refiners, mints, assayers, transport and secure-storage providers as well as jewellery fabricators.

Working with the City of London's foreign exchange and money markets, the LBMA also developed - and requires all its members to follow - the Non-Investment Products Code, approved by both the Bank of England and the UK regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Membership of the LBMA is tightly controlled. Applicants must be sponsored by three existing members with whom they've had a strong, on-going and bullion-based relationship for at least 12 months. Each sponsor must also confirm their own "Know Your Client" diligence before the applicant can go before the Membership Committee, which then ensures the high quality of the Association's membership and reputation.