When an Ontario woman bought gold and silver from her bank nine years ago she always assumed she would be able to sell it back when she was ready.
But she was shocked when she was told Scotiabank, where she had purchased five ounces of gold and five ounces of silver, was no longer in the precious metals business.
Both the gold bar and silver coins are emblazoned with the Scotiabank logo.
“I have purchased gold and silver from Scotiabank. So why didn’t Scotiabank notify me they were closing their precious metals division?” said Lynda Gatehouse, of Whitby.
Many people invest in precious metals as part of their portfolio by purchasing stock in gold and silver companies, but you can also purchase physical gold and silver bars or coins.
In 2013 Gatehouse paid $22 an ounce for five ounces of silver for a total of $110 and $1,376 an ounce for five ounces of gold at a cost of $6,880.
Gatehouse said she was doing estate planning and decided to sell the gold and silver and gift her son with the proceeds, but became frustrated when her bank offered her no direction as to what to do with the precious metals.
“No information was given to me where I can take it to sell, however they did say I could take it to a pawn shop and I’m sorry I just don’t operate that way,” said Gatehouse.
CTV News reached out to Scotiabank and a spokesperson said, “In Q2 2020, Scotiabank announced the wind down of its metals business. Other financial institutions continue to deal in precious metals.”
Canada’s other four big banks still buy and sell gold, but they have different policies and may only buy back gold that was purchased from them.
Along with jewelry stores and pawn shops there are precious metals dealers that specialize in buying gold and silver which is where Gatehouse eventually ended up on the advice of her financial planner.
Gatehouse sold the gold and silver and paid the dealer a commission. The five ounces of silver she purchased in 2013 for $10 dollars only increased $15 dollars over nine years to $125.
However the five ounces of gold did appreciate from $6,880 to $10,800, an increase of $3,920.
Gatehouse still feels her bank could have done more to help her and other customers who purchased their gold and silver.
“I’m really disappointed that they didn’t inform me they were closing their division and leaving us high and dry,” said Gatehouse.
If you have gold and silver and want to sell it it’s important to know the spot price, because it fluctuates each day. You may also want to get three estimates to make sure you’re getting the best price that you can.