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Pawnbrokers jump into banks’ shoes, says report

4 Nov 10

New research reveals sector’s rapid growth

Pawnbroking has expanded dramatically into the vacuum left by retreating banks, with Glasgow now the second largest pawnbroking city after central London, according to new research by PwC. The report, titled ‘Pawn is Reborn’– a snapshot of high street ‘banking’ across the UK 2008-2010’, shows a 44 per cent increase in the number of pawnbrokers across the country, while bank branches have reduced by one per cent.

It also found the top five chains of pawnbrokers account for just 57.2 per cent of the total number of pawnbrokers’ stores. Banking is more concentrated, with the top five names accounting for 89.4 per cent of branches.

Sara Miller, director and retail specialist at PwC, said: “A growing proportion of the population is not being provided with credit from the mainstream players, meaning that there are big opportunities for alternative providers of finance to step in and fill the gap.

“In Scotland, we have seen a significant rise in the number of pawnbrokers over the last two years and indeed, Glasgow has now moved up the top ten into second spot, with only central London ahead. These have been able to thrive due to consumer demand for alternative finance and alternative income sources such as buying gold and due to the lower cost of operation since they are taking up space that would otherwise be vacant.”

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