"Who is BullionVault in the first place", I was first wonderig. A strange nebulous web site? No, it seems that it is really a serious, competent, healthy company. According to my understanding:
...is the largest gold-trading platform worldwide.
...is located in London, UK.
...was founded in 2005 by Paul Tustain (CEO) and is owned by Galmarley Ltd.
...has received the Queens Award for Enterprise Innovation in 2009.
...abministers more than 21 tons of gold (16.5 t in Zurich, 4.5 t in London, 0.3 t in New York) at present (value ca. 700 Million Euro), that is ca. 0.01% of the gold available world-wide (170,000 tons).
...administers 84 tons of silver (in a vault in London), value ca. 46 Mill EUR at present.
...is acc. to company's report 2008/2009 a well profitable and financially healthy company, the profit before tax in 2007 / 2008 / 2009 was 25,000 GPB / 1.75 Mill GBP / 3.5 Mill GBP respectively.
...had acc. to company's report 2008/2009 just 6 / 10 / 13 employees in the years 2007 / 2008 / 2009, with an average salary of 36,000 / 51,000 / 40,000 GBP (variations probably due to the fact that not all employees have been employed for a complete year, thus giving biased "per-average" salaries when just dividing the total salary expenses by the number of employees).
...has web sites in UK, Germancy, France, Poland and Japan in the meantime. Further countries are in planning, e.g. Italy.
...has a web site with an extreme amount of well-structured information content, FAQs around gold in general and BullionVault in particular.
...appears to make all efforts to have a web site as transparent as possible, as far as the company and the gold bullions stored for their clients are concerned.
Further more I have learned:
Registering with BullionVault is first anonymous (only an E-Mail address is required), and one can get acustomed with the trading platform. For this, 1 gramme of gold is given to the new client as a present. Within 3 months one has to transfer some money and validate oneself, otherwise the account gets deleted again and the free gramme of gold cannot be kept. For validation one needs to make a scan of the identity card and the bank account statement and upload it to BullionVault (secured connection) (I have grayed out sensitive parts of my bank account statement before uploading the scan - was accepted without problems.
Trading 24 h a day and 7 days a week.
The price on the BullionVault platform is close to the spot market price due to the market mechanisms implemented.
All goold and silver is insured - insurance is included in the yearly fees.
The vault operator for BullionVault is the swiss security company "Via Mat", who has a leading position in Switzerland and is operational world-wide.
Transparency by daily updated list of the gold-, silver- and money statement of all BullionVault clients in anonymous form: Only the user nickname is displayed, which is only known by the user himself (not to be confused with the login name).
Transparancy by regular inspections of the bullions from neutral side.
The complete web site of BullionVault makes a very competent, conceptually thought-through, stable and complete impression, with detailed explanations, FAQs and a number of information. I would say that the people who made this know what they are doing.