This section details the benefits Pawnbrokers receive when becoming a member of the National Pawnbrokers Association.
Members can register for the Gold Standard. A code of standards recognised by National Police, the Home Office and trading standards as a symbol of excellence and best practice against theft and robbery.
NPA has Primary Authority status with Trading Standards, this means that members who have local issues can have matters settled at a national level between Trading Standards UK and NPA. The advantage being that NPA are fully conversant with all aspects of Pawnbroking and previous precedents.
Your store/stores will be listed on the find A Pawnbroker search facility. The public can search for you and find you under town, postcode or current location.
Planning Consent- advise and help re premises
Yellow pages- yell.com discount listings
Crunch Card- a pre paid card for customers to put loans on.
Call Credit deal- to check against theft
123 Send- card payment terminal deal for members
We offer members training courses, heavily subsidised online study and qualifications, as well as ongoing professional development short courses. Certificates at the end of these courses can be used to evidence staff training and course assessments to comply with FCA training requirements.
The Guide is available for the exclusive use of members but is not available to those outside the Association.
Since its first publication in 1986 it is recognised as the only comprehensive operating manual and reference guide to all aspects of pawnbroking. It is updated regularly in conjunction with the NPA's secretariat team, council and other professional advisers and is an invaluable source book. The NPA engage with the FCA on rule changes and we keep abreast of EU law and other laws such as trading laws, local and contract law, and data protection. Non members would have to go to considerable lengths to keep up with the dynamic legal market place.
The Guide not only tells you exactly how to be compliant with the consumer credit laws but how to run the business professionally and with best practice.
Here are just a few samples from hundreds of cases handled by the advisory service each year:
- A boyfriend and girlfriend pawn goods together, but then split up and try to redeem separately.
- A Trading Standards Officer receives what you consider to be an unjustified complaint about your business.
- New regulation comes into force for consumer credit providers and you are not sure if or how this affects you?
- A loan is made against goods that are subsequently claimed to be stolen.
- You want to try a new marketing strategy and are not sure if it has been tried before and will be successful?
- You have property that has been left after the loan has been fully repaid and you don't know what you are allowed to do with it?
- You want to advertise but do not know what the regulations on advertising are.
In such circumstances as the above the Association's guidance is invaluable. The service is available free to all NPA members and can help avoid the potential cost in terms of time, money and adverse publicity for your business of an ill-informed decision.
The NPA also represents the voice of individual pawnbrokers by ensuring that the Consumer Credit Act 1974, which has regulated pawnbroking since 1986, is applied and interpreted to the benefit of your business and your customers. Active discussions take place on a regular basis with the FCA, Trading Standards Offices and other Government bodies to ensure that members' views are represented nationally in relation to changes in consumer and business laws that may affect pawnbroking generally and you in particular.
Any profession needs a forum in which businesses can learn the views of fellow colleagues, share problems and communicate ideas and opinions.
The Pawnbroker was launched in 2005 as a successor to the in-house magazine the NPA Times that was first published in 1992 and was in turn the successor to the Pawnbrokers Gazette and Trade Circular, whose origins lay in the early part of the nineteenth century. The Pawnbroker is a lively and informative quarterly publication sent free to all members with articles and news items designed to keep them up to date with developments in the trade.
The NPA Website www.thenpa.com features a dedicated members area which features a resources section that keeps Pawnbrokers fully up to date, including various compliance templates, guidance help and information to run your pawnbroking business.
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The Annual Conference, generally held in London each October, in addition to transacting the formal business of the Association, holds seminars and debates on issues of relevance to pawnbroking.
Recent Conferences have discussed topics such as the unsecured lending business, cheque cashing, insurance, security and crime prevention measures, with guest speakers from the accountancy and legal professions, Government bodies, senior members of the Police, USA pawnbrokers and other important and relevant trade associations.
As well as the Conference's educational aspects, a Members' Networking Event the afternoon before, gives an opportunity for members to meet socially. Pawnbrokers from around the UK and overseas attend the Conference and many friendships have been made and renewed over the years.
All applicants are screened to ensure that they meet high standards of conduct and professional competence, since membership is viewed by many as a mark of prestige, fitness and high standards of professional conduct.
NPA members are able to display the Association logo on their stationery and at their premises.
Membership inspires customer confidence and gives pawnbroking credibility with bodies such as the Financial Conduct Authority, Local Authorities, Trading Standards Departments and the Police who use the Association as a reference point.
Membership of the NPA entitles you to make free calls to Croner Consulting to get advice on a wide range of legal issues. The Business Support Helpline can advise you on a huge range of business issues, including:
- health and safety
- tax and VAT
- commercial and contract law
- landlord and tenant issues
- company law
- consumer protection and licensing
- copyright and patents
The NPA actively promote our brand in the media and our logo is recognised by authorities such as the FCA and police and trading standards as representing professionalism and high standards.