National Pawnbrokers Association comment on A&B Pawnbrokers
13th September 2019
Speedloan Finance which trades as A&B Pawnbrokers (Albemarle & Bond) and Herbert Brown has closed a number of stores.
Their decision to downscale UK operations is a strategic matter for the company but the National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA) has expressed its concern that the communication of their actions to their customers falls below the standards expected of its members. In particular we are most unhappy with the fact that customers cannot get through to the helpline. We have demanded that the management of the company resolve this as a matter of urgency and the Association will do everything in its power to ensure that customers rights are protected and that they are treated fairly and transparently. We have no reason to believe that the customers' pledges are at risk and have been assured that they are being safely held at a central location.
The pawnbroking market is a successful sub £ billion market offering secured loans against items, typically jewellery. Nearly all companies in the UK market are members of the trade body National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA). Most members are experiencing market growth and in fact the two largest companies have both reported double digit growth percentages in their latest figures (H&T and Ramsdens). Most pawnbrokers offer a range of services from travel money and money transfer to jewellery sales and gold buying.
Customers can contact the company on 0800 144 8485 which is a dedicated hotline. If customers are not happy with the response from the company, they can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service to complain on 0800 023 4567 or the FCA customer helpline on 0800 111 6768.
For further information and comment, press should contact;
National Pawnbrokers Association
16 High Holborn,
Telephone No: 020 8616 7266
Footnote for Editors
The NPA is a trade body representing the vast majority of pawnbroking business across the United Kingdom, around 97% of the market. Pawnbrokers have delivered a vital service of providing secured loans against customers assets for centuries. The NPA, formally established in 1892, to ensure the highest ethical and regulatory standards and ensure strong consumer protection and fairness existed in respect of pawnbroking. This ethos has remained the same to today and is at the heart of our members approach towards customer standards today. NPA members comply with, and are authorised and regulated by, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for consumer credit activity, by HMRC for Money Service Business (MSB) activity, both authorisations require policies for anti-money laundering (AML) processes. Members must pass a fit and proper person test and are regularly audited by these authorities. We also work closely with the police and Home Office and are strategic partners with the Bank of England to counter fraud.