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In the Harry Potter books, Gringotts is the wizarding bank run by goblins, although it hires humans as well. Gringotts appears to be the only bank in the wizarding world, and only one branch, located in Diagon Alley, is discussed in the books. Gringotts works in the way that deposit boxes do at muggle banks: depositors can bring material to the bank for storage, where they will be guarded using various measures. When someone wishes the remove articles from the bank, he or she provides the bank with a key, and is taken to the vault in question. Gringotts also provides currency exchange between muggle (non-magical) and wizard currency.
Gringotts is described as a multiple story white building with underground vaults that stretch to an unknown depth below the earth. The amount of treasure held in Gringotts is unknown, and exact information on security measures used at the bank is also rare, although there are rumors of trolls and dragons being used to guard the high security vaults. Two different methods of accessing a vault are seen in the books: the use of either a key or the fingernail of a Gringotts goblin, which apparently can be used to unlock certain vaults.
According to Rowling, goblins are very greedy creatures who guard their treasure well. Gringotts is viewed as a highly reliable and safe place to store important material: the only safer place, according to Rubeus Hagrid, one of the adult characters, is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which has numerous magical protections of its own. The Gringotts goblins are described as being unappealing to look at, as they are short and wizened with hooked noses, but very clever. Being bankers, they have excellent heads for numbers.
Harry stores money in vault 687. During the first book, Harry and Hagrid enter Diagon Alley to get school supplies for Harry, and Hagrid removes something from vault 713, which later turns out to be the Philosopher's Stone. The decision to move the Philosopher's Stone turns out to be a sound one: shortly afterwards, vault 713 is broken into, the first recorded break-in in Gringotts history.
Several human characters in the book work for Gringotts. Bill Weasley, older brother of Harry's close friend Ron Weasley, is employed by the bank as a curse breaker in Egypt, presumably recovering artifacts from Egyptian tombs. Fleur Delacour, a French witch introduced in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire gets a job with Gringotts in England to improve her English skills. Clearly, Gringotts operates on an international basis, and probably handles finances for Dark wizards as well as the law abiding ones. This may turn out to be important in the final book.