Frankfurt AFP-JIJI

Germany’s central bank wants to retrieve much of the gold it has stored in Britain, France, and the United States to meet requirements set out by its national auditors, the financial daily Handelsblatt reported Tuesday.

The Federal Court of Auditors called for a thorough audit of its gold stocks in the wake of complaints last year from euroskeptics in Germany that so much of it is held abroad. The critics have called for it to be returned.

According to the paper, 45 percent of Germany’s gold is deposited with the U.S. Federal Reserve, 13 percent with the Bank of England and 11 percent with the Bank of France. The remaining 31 percent is held at the Bundesbank’s headquarters in Frankfurt.

The reason so much is spread in foreign central banks goes back to the Cold War, when the gold was shipped abroad for safekeeping, the report said.

All the gold stored in France, which like Germany belongs to the eurozone, is to be brought back, the paper reported.

Some of the stock in Britain and the U.S. will stay there for foreign exchange reasons in accordance with a court recommendation, the report added.