NPA Pawnbroking Research 2020


NPA Announces Results of Independent Pawnbroking Research

The National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA) has commissioned a major independent research project on Pawnbroking Customers. The research undertaken by the University of Bristol Personal Finance Research Centre gains insight into the views and experiences of customers. The report details findings from a survey of 1,669 pawnbroking customers nationwide and analysed management information from 85,000 loans.


The key findings were:

   - Two thirds of customers surveyed were women and were under 54 years.

   - 62% of the sample redeemed, 24% renewed, and only 14% forfeited their pawns.

   - 92% considered the ability to renew to be important and a fundamental benefit of pawnbroking.

   - Over 90% were satisfied with the service provided.

   - 95% did not consider pawnbroking to be a high cost option

   - Six in ten customers stated they needed the loan for day-to-day living expenses.

   - People take pawnbroking loans for reasons of convenience, speed, and simplicity.

   - The mean average loan amount was £243 most likely borrowed against gold jewellery.


Author of the report, Sara Davies, Senior Research Fellow at University of Bristol Personal Finance Research Centre says:

“The findings reported here indicate that most customers are aware of, and satisfied with, the way pawnbroking works, showing a strong consumer focus, flexibility and personalisation. Most people settle their debt and redeem pawns, however, renewal (paying off the interest and starting a new contract) is considered a useful facility.”

Although pawnbroking sits within the FCA’s high-cost credit portfolio, cost was not a concern of many customers. Unlike unsecured loans such as pay day lending, in the case of pawnbroking the result of failure to redeem is the sale of the pledged items, with no further debt obligation.

NPA Chief Executive Ray Perry says:

“We are delighted with the extremely high level of customer satisfaction and the value they see in the service provided, and we are pleased renewals are considered extremely important in supporting customer needs. We believe pawnbrokers are well placed and well equipped to continue to help customers as we start to move on from lockdown and the impact of Covid-19 on households.”





For more information or to arrange interviews with Ray Perry, please contact us on 07736 743697 Or by e mail at


A summary of the report is attached, and the full report is available at:


Notes for Editors

The National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA) was founded in 1892 and is the trade association representing pawnbrokers, from the large chains through to independents, in a £800m loan market. It is the authoritative voice of the pawnbroking industry in the UK. The NPA stands for expertise, fairness and transparency, professionalism, and excellence. All our members are bound by our rules and a customer code of conduct. Pawnbroking is part of the credit industry and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

University of Bristol Personal Finance Research Centre published the report- August 2020. Personal Finance Research Centre (PFRC) is based in the School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, University Road, Bristol, BS8 1SS. © University of Bristol, 2020.

Sara Davies is a Senior Research Fellow at PFRC. Her interest is in the intersection between individual behaviour and structural barriers in the relationship between people and finance. Her recent research has been in understanding borrowing behaviour, and in conceptualising and calculating the poverty premium.