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Wed 20 February 2008, Financial Times

On the bright side of the downturn

By Jonathan Guthrie
This is a good time to be a pawnbroker. The UK, as we are often reminded, has amassed a £1,000bn “personal debt mountain”. Credit is drying up and 1m people are coming off low fixed-rate mortgages. Residential repossessions are predicted to double this year and personal insolvencies to rise 20 per cent. The ability of pawnbrokers to advance cash against a shiny wristwatch or a set of sovereign rings is coming back into its own. It helps that the gold price has doubled since 2004.

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