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Pawnbroker reports bumper profits

115-branch chain thrives during recession

Britain’s biggest pawnbroking chain has seen a big rise in profits during the recession. Income from pawnbroking rose by 30%, and the firm’s gross profits grew by 16%. 

Albemarle & Bond also benefited from rising gold prices, with a new gold-purchasing service introduced across its 115 stores.   

The firm, which was founded in Bristol in 1983, describes pawnbroking as ‘the main part of our business’, although it also provides a loans and cheque-cashing service, including payday advances. 

Which? debt advice

While pawnbrokers can provide a temporary respite from financial difficulties, and are a welcome source of cash for their clients, long-term debt problems call for more fundamental solutions.

Which? debt expert, Martyn Saville says: ‘Pawnbrokers doubtless play a part for many consumers needing a short-term loan to tide them over. However, the service comes at a price. While pawnbrokers are amongst the least-worst options at the bottom end of the credit market, particularly compared with most doorstep lenders and loan sharks, they are not free and can still charge eye-watering amounts of interest.

‘If you’re struggling with unmanageable debt, it’s worth seeking free and impartial advice from a reputation organisation such as the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, National Debtline or your local Citizens Advice Bureau. Never use a commercial debt management company – why pay for a service that is available free and better elsewhere?’

For more advice on dealing with debt see our online advice guide

If you are looking to take on extra borrowing, take a look at our Best Buy loan tables.

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