In an interview with the Telegraph, David Sonnenthal, Manager of New Bond Street Pawnbrokers, spoke about his firm’s fresh take on the pawnbroker model.
Mayfair’s wealthy elite.
Catering to the wealthy elite of London’s Mayfair district, New Bond Street Pawnbrokers deals in ‘high-end’ pawnbroking. What exactly does this mean? Sonnenthal explains, “We don’t buy plain gold or low-value items.” His business is certainly located in the right postcode, where many residents have the finest cars, art, jewellery and antiques.
Differ from traditional pawnbrokers.
The new model used by Sonnenthal’s firm lends 40-50% of an asset’s value – the minimum loan is £1,000. Whilst clients pay between three and five per cent interest each month, they are given the opportunity to repay within seven months. This differs from traditional pawnbrokers, where clients are often unable to get back their assets. Those who are unable to pay back their loan will have their items sold at auction, with the firm recouping their costs and paying the client any extra gain.
Contemporary style pawnbrokers.
The contemporary style of New Bond Street Pawnbrokers throws off the traditional Dickensian image of dark, dingy pawnbrokers and gives it a distinctly modern vibe. Whilst some people are still uncomfortable visiting a pawnbroker for fear of being seen as poor, the shop has issued around £50m in loans since it opened 15 years ago and Sonnenthal explains, “Our clients are very wealthy, it’s just their money is tied up in their assets and they need instant cash.”