Review of The Anglo Far-East Company
What The Anglo Far-East Company offers to gold investors
The Anglo Far-East Company (AFE) offers institutional and private investors to buy, store and sell physical gold and silver bullion. The bullion is stored with an independent vault operator. Customers can request delivery of their bullion but have to bear all associated costs.
About The Anglo Far-East Company
|Headquarters||Registered in Zug, Switzerland;
Headquarters: Panama City
|Founded||1991, online service started in 2003|
|Number of clients||Not published|
According to The Anglo Far-East Company (AFE), the company was founded in 1991 and launched its bullion custodial and account operations in the late 1990’s.
AFE offers private clients and institutions the possibility to buy and store gold bullion and silver bullion. The minimum investment is US$ 50,000. Clients who buy gold acquire ownership in 400 ounce standard gold bullion bars as defined by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) or single ounces of those bars. The LBMA is the trade association of the wholesale market for gold and silver in London and sets the specifications for ‘good delivery’ gold bars.
Clients of The Anglo Far-East Company can place orders to buy and sell gold and silver online through their accounts. The process for opening an account can be performed online or paper-based.
Discretion and privacy are high priorities for AFE. The company is legally registered in Zug, Switzerland and has its headquarters in Panama City. AFE states that these international jurisdictions strictly protect client privacy by law. Records and transactions are conducted without the use of a client’s name or other identifying information. Bullion account statements and account transactions statements never quote the name or address of the account holder; the owner is identified by number only.
One of the founders of The Anglo Far-East Company is Philip Judge. Philip Judge is also associated with YOUnique, a multi level marketing (MLM) company for distributing gold investment products (see further comments under security and safety).
AFE is privately owned. The legal entity is a GmbH (limited liability company) which has been registered in the canton of Zug, Switzerland, in 2009. According to the company register, Giuseppe Altieri, Philip Judges and Simon Heapes are the owners of the GmbH.
According to company information, AFE derives its original foundational roots from Australia Fair, a former Australian-based bullion coin and strategic information company.
|Precious metals||Gold, silver|
|Minimum investment||US$ 100,000.-|
|Delivery of gold||Optional, separate fees apply (see below)|
|Vault locations||Zurich (Switzerland)|
|Currencies||U.S. dollar, Euro and others|
|Additional features||Savings plans are also being offered|
The Anglo Far-East Company works with an LBMA-accredited security transport and vault operator that stores the bullion. AFE states in its client contracts that it may use one or more specialist high security storage facilities for the safekeeping of bullion held on behalf of its account holders as it sees fit from time to time. According to AFE, the gold is stored in Switzerland. Online sources claim that the current vault operator for AFE is Via Mat.
AFE uses a bullion auditor that is present when accessing the vault. A trustee company, which is a licensed and registered audit firm, is responsible for appointing the bullion auditor and reconciling AFE client accounts with the physical bullion held and reported by the bullion auditor.
The Anglo Far-East Company states on its website that Copies of Vault Access Statements, Proof of Insurance, Trustee Statements, Bullion Auditor Statements, and Certificates of Audit were available upon client request, and also to qualified, potential clients for conducting due diligence. Those documents are not made available to the general public.
AFE Custodial Company (AFECC) is part of the Anglo Far-East group of companies. It provides logistics support to institutions, funds, and trusts, and handles a range of services such as acquisition, storage, and liquidation of good delivery bars on behalf of its clients.
In March 2011 Anglo Far-East Custodial Company joined ABN Amro, Las Bovedas Corporation SARL, and Luxembourg Fund Partners to launch a new physical gold fund regulated by the CSSF. Under the Terms of Agreement, AFECC is expected to provide logistics for the acquisition, transport, auditing, safe storage, and liquidation of the physical gold bars backing the Fund.
AFE has various policies and processes in place by which it tries to ensure the safety and security of its clients’ gold. Trustable Gold views AFE ‘s safety measures critically due to the lack of publication of audit reports for the general public and the fact that Philip Judge (founding director of AFE) launched a company called YOUnique in 2008. YOUnique is a multi level marketing (MLM) company for distributing gold products. Trustable Gold generally does not consider MLM companies as reputable businesses, since they often work with pyramidal structures and/or high-pressure sales techniques and sell overpriced products. In addition, we consider Panama City as a potentially risky place from an investor perspective, e.g. in terms of enforcing legal claims.
Trustable Gold’s Safety Criteria
|Outright Ownership of 100% Gold||Insured, independent storage||Transparent, external audit||Price transparency||Liquidity||Regulation|
|Clients of AFE own their gold, it is their legal property||The gold is insured; use of trustee company and one or more specialist high security storage facilities||Audits by independent auditor and gold bar inspection company; publication of audit information not available for general public||Yes, see below||Clients can place buy orders online daily around the clock; spot price of next trading session||Anglo Far-East is independent of banks|
The Anglo Far-East Company does not publish its fee structure for the general public.
The information below was collected from Internet sources in August 2011 and does not come from AFE. Thus, this information is not to be relied on.
Costs for buying gold
- 20oz or less: 9.75%
- 20oz to 50oz: 8.75%
- 50oz to 250oz: 7.50%
- 250oz to 500oz: 6.50%
- 500oz to 1,000oz: 6.00%
- More than 1,000oz: 5.50%
Costs for selling gold
Costs for storage and insurance
- The costs for the first seven years of storage are covered with the fees for buying gold
- From the eighth year on, the costs for storage are 0.90% per year
Fee for withdrawal of gold
All costs associated with delivery associated with de-bailment from custodial storage, bullion auditor verification, transport and delivery, insurance, and duties are borne by the account holder.
Last update: 01.03.2017
AFE’s account opening process cannot be fully completed over the internet and is mostly paper-based.
1. Fill out online Client Account Qualification Form on AFE website
Fill out the form with your personal information and agree to the user agreement.
2. Submit required documents by post or via fax
AFE requires you to submit notarized copies of your passport or other valid photo ID card, a declaration of your source of funds and a signed bullion purchase, sale and storage user agreement.
3. Transfer funds
Submit a bankwire remittance application form. It will be processed within 48hrs. You will then receive a bankwire remittance approval number, without which your funds may be returned.
4. Place an order to buy gold
Fill in an account Credit Transaction Form to have AFE purchase gold on your behalf. Orders are executed manually by AFE personnel at the spot price of the next trading session.