Pawn Brokers Annual Conference
As with many trade bodies the National Pawn Brokers Association (NPA) holds a yearly conference. The venue for this years event was held at the Park Plaza hotel in Victoria-Central London. The pawnbrokers conference is followed by an evening gala dinner, this dinner also acts as a fund raising event with the nominated charity being the NSCCP.
As Hopkins and Jones are London Pawnbrokers and an active member of the association, attendance is always a given. Both to meet old friends and to catch up on what might be happening within the pawnbroking industry and what new and interesting loans that are being made.
One of the first things, once the meet and greet is finished, is to conduct the official part of the AGM. Stu Mclnroy was introduced as the new CEO of the pawnbroking association. The result of the council membership elections were announced, with Jim Tannahill from Hopkins and Jones Jewellers and Pawnbrokers being elected as a council member. The accountants were proposed and so on. With this quick but necessary part over it was onto the conference itself.
A selection of speakers had been lined up to give us London pawnbrokers a series of 30 minute speeches on topics connected to the pawnbroking industry.
One of the topics that is always in the front of the pawnbrokers mind is the price and direction of bullion, so the topic of “where next for gold prices” is always of interest. Presenting this section was a representative from Metalfocus, who informed us that the primary drivers for gold prices were.
1. Physical demand
Which will include all the metal being purchased for use in the jewellery trade. The 2 largest markets being China and India which are 16% and 32% down respectively.
2. Investors Sentiment
So far there has been a 17% rise in gold with a further 9% (in dollar terms) forecast, so investor sentiment is quite bullish.
Gold is one of the main cornerstones of an asset based lenders security and this rise in the value of gold bullion with further increases forecast, gives the pawn-broker confidence that their loans are backed by solid assets.
The day progressed with another notable contribution from the Birmingham assay office, and Anchorcert. Telling us all about the amount of jewellery product that has been sent to them for hallmarking and how that has changed.
The day and the evening events were a great success and a considerable sum was raised for charity at the auction held in the evening