Socialist Worker

Debt boost to pawn shops

Issue No. 2116

More and more people are being forced to turn to pawn brokers in an attempt to pay their household bills.

As banks increasingly refuse to lend to people in the current economic climate, some people are having to pawn their possessions just to make ends meet.

Britain's biggest pawnbroker Harvey and Thompson last week announced a 79 percent increase in its half-yearly profits to £5.5 million.

The use of pawnbrokers, while being a short term solution for an individual, will lead to increased debt and poverty in the long term as the typical interest rate for a pawned item is 7 to 8 percent a month.

The number of high street pawnbrokers has increased from around 50 in the early 1980s to over 800 today.

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Tue 26 Aug 2008, 20:58 BST
Issue No. 2116
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