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Private bankers advise: "just say no to gold"

(Reuters) - Gold is all the rage as investors flee uncertain markets and worry about inflation, but some bankers to the very rich do not take a shine to the precious metal.

 "We're not really recommending gold right now, just because it's at a level where there are things driving it beyond the types of things (where) that we can add a lot of value," U.S. Trust President Keith Banks said at the Reuters Global Private Banking Summit in New York

"So what exactly is leading to gold at the levels it's at? Your guess is as good as mine," said Banks, who runs the Bank of America (BAC.N) private bank unit.

"With gold being over $1,300 an ounce now, you have people who are asking whether, first, 'Is it another bubble?' and then, 'How far can I ride that bubble?,'" Credit Suisse Americas private banking chief Anthony DeChellis said.

"We have clients who have made very large individual purchases of gold. Sometimes they'll just say they're doing it, and they'll ask us if we can hold it for them, but we haven't made any large purchases of gold directly for our clients," said Hilton, whose firm manages about $56 billion.

"We have been a proponent of having an exposure to commodities. The bank is optimistic about the economic recovery, and commodities is a way to play global growth," said U.S. Trust's Banks.  


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