Cashing in on silver lining

 

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The Independent Online

Pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond plans to open 25 new stores in 2012 taking advantage of the difficult economic climate and banks' tightening of their lending criteria.

The stores will focus on pawnbroking services and on outlets that buy gold from the public. Up to 300 jobs could be created as result.

Subdued high street rents are allowing firms like Albemarle to open new sites. Barry Stevenson, chief executive, said: "Since the recession, retail rates for high street locations have finally returned to a sensible level, which allows us to be where our services are needed.

"Compared to places like the US, the pawnbroking market here is still drastically underserved."

Pawnbrokers and payday loan firms continue to fill the void left by banks.

"With fewer people able to get credit through the banks, pawnbroking has an opportunity to play an increasingly important role in many people's finances," Mr Stevenson added.

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