Norman buys Sharps Pixley to sell gold to the public

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The Independent Online

Gold bug Ross Norman has bought the 200-year-old Sharps Pixley gold-dealer to sell ingots and coins to retail investors.

Mr Norman, a director of Fastmarkets, hopes to have Sharps Pixley up and running again over the next few weeks and will hire a number of experienced traders to work for the firm – one of five members of the London committee that used to fix the price of gold each day.

He is also in talks with a number of UK banks and building societies to work with them to supply small gold bars and coins to their customers through ATM cash points and other channels. He is also looking at distribution through online sites or television channels.

"Retail demand for gold in the UK is big but there is no access or easy way for small investors – the mums and pops – to buy small amounts," he said. "I'm talking to the banks to see how we can make it easier for customers to buy gold through cash machines.

"With the world in such a nervous state, people are keen on buying gold as a safe haven and long-term investment."

Formed in 1796, Sharps Pixley was owned by Kleinwort Benson in 1966 and sold to Deutsche Bank for £17.5m in 1993.

Known as one of the goldmarket's most accurate forecasters, Mr Norman predicted last year that spot gold would rise by nearly 30 per cent to average $1,236 per ounce – just off this year's high of $1,260.

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