Will the UK have to pawn its Crown Jewels to get the UK economy going?
Well Queen Isabella of Spain pawned the crown jewels to finance Columbus’ voyage to America in 1492. That is how old the Pawnbroking industry is - As mankind’s oldest financial institution with a rich history that can be traced back at least 3,000 years to ancient China, and has been found in the earliest written histories of Greek and Roman civilizations.
The UK's voyage is different! Its the voyage of discovery for the UK population to the Pawnbroking industry itself. As the traditional banks, lenders, and credit card companies turn their backs on the UK population - and the government hand-outs have dried up.
The pawnbroking industry is still trying to change its image in the UK - that will always be the case. My view, before entering into this business, was always that it was a back street, dark alley, shady-type of business! Only "certain-types" of people would use it - this WAS my perception. I believe that this still IS 99.9% of the UK's perception.
Well, whatever the stereotypes, pawnbroking is here to stay and it will become more prominent in the UK in 2012 - not just for individuals - but for businesses, the "asset-rich, cash-poor" with Rolexes, Ferraris, Fine Art, Antiques but very little dough in their pockets for the rainy days!
More and more people are turning to the traditional pawnbroker to get them through these difficult and austere times. But is that a bad thing? Is it better to get an unsecured loan, or even worse still - go to a loan shark - who will hound you for the money if you do not pay on time?
Pawnbrokers allow you to secure a loan on an item of value, if you don't buy it back in time, you loose it - no one will hound you for the money. Simple as that. A pawnbroker would then sell it on to cover the money they lent to you plus the interest they would had earned - should you had wanted to renew or buy it back - typically within 6 to 7 months.
We get alot of savvy customers - who know how pawnbroking works and how cheap, quick and easy it is as a way to raise instant cash for a short period of time. Typically our customers buy their items back within 2-4 months. With an interest rate of 7% a month. How does that compare with bank overdraft charges and bank loans? Check for yourself!
I think 2012 will be a year when the consumer will look more closely at their financing options. Many will still rule out their local pawnbroker due to the negative stigma attached to it. But if you were to take a long hard look at pawnbroking as an option - you would not rule it out in the future!
For more info on the history of pawnbroking: http://www.roaths.com/pawnbroking.htm