The UK’s largest pawnbroker H&T has ceased offering short-term loans “at least temporarily” while the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) conducts a review of its lending practices.
H&T said it is “working closely” with the regulator and that the review is focusing on H&T’s creditworthiness assessments and lending processes for high-cost, short-term loans, “in light of changes to the Consumer Credit Sourcebook (CONC) rules regarding affordability assessments implemented in November 2018 and the Dear CEO letter issued to all high-cost, short-term credit firms by the FCA in October 2018”.
The firm said that, in the six-year period under review, total customer interest payments amounted to £24m. Revenue less impairment over this period totalled £11m. It added the average high-cost, short-term loan unsecured portfolio over the period has been £3m with a peak in December 2016 of £4m and has now reduced to £3m.
Should any redress be payable, H&T said it anticipates being able to fund this “from its existing financial resources”.
It added that, “this aside, H&T continues to trade well”.
In October, H&T reached a deal to purchase rival Abelmarle & Bond Herbert Brown’s (A&B) pledgebook, after A&B ceased trading.