Albemarle and Bond: Defunct mortgage lenders sell their loans to rival

  Albemarle and Bond pawnbroker branch Copyright copyright
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Concerned customers of the discontinued pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond (A&B) have been told that they can retrieve their pawns from branches of the rival chain H&T.

Many have had difficulty redeeming items used as collateral for loans after 1[ads1]16 A&B mortgage lenders abruptly closed earlier this month.

Some even feared that items like jewelry and gold would never be returned.

H&T said that the "immediate focus" was to support A & B's 30,000 customers.

The firm has agreed to purchase £ 8 million of loans related to its clients' assets – known as "mortgage books" – from Speedloan Finance, which had traded under the name Albemarle & Bond.

  • & # 39; My tears over peasant jewelry & # 39;
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The agreement will mean that A&B customers can redeem or extend their existing loans at H & T & # 39; s 248 UK pawn shops.

Customers were taken by surprise when A&B abruptly stopped trading earlier in September, blaming "substantial" financial losses.

Pledged goods in their stores were quickly moved to a central storage facility in Oxford, giving customers little chance to redeem them. And there were screams when many failed to get through the company's helpline to find out where their goods were.

Many customers also did not feel comfortable transferring large sums of money to A&B over the phone, given their financial position, to retrieve their goods.

They also did not want to have precious items returned to them by mail.

Copyright copyright
Jackie Alderson


Jackie Alderson feared she would not return her jewelry

Part-time cleaner Jackie Alderson pledged 10 rings and two necklaces – some of which were inherited from her late parents – as collateral for a loan from A&B.

"I tried to call them hundreds and hundreds of times, but no answer," she told the BBC. "It left me in tears."

When she finally got through, she had the opportunity to redeem the items, but she didn't like the idea of ​​having to transfer £ 1200 to A&B over the phone. "I wanted to pick it up personally," she said.

The delay in redeeming her goods has already cost her £ 80 in extra interest on her loan, Mrs Alderson said.

& # 39; We deeply regret & # 39;

H&T said that customers will now be able to call the helpline and have their goods shipped to branches of H&T near where they live.

In rare cases where there is no H&T store nearby, the company said it would ship goods directly to customers.

Kohei Ogawa, the manager of Daikokuya Holdings, the owner of A&B, said: "We deeply apologize to customers for any uncertainty and upheaval caused by our decision to close in the UK.

" When we decided to do so, we had to move quickly to secure more than 35,000 customer ceilings in our central secure facility.

"This agreement with H&T is a good result for customers and will enable them to redeem or extend their mortgages with minimal disruption."

The agreement with H&T does not include A & B's stores, all of which remain closed. Around 400 employees have also become redundant, although H&T said they had hired a number of them to work in their own stores.

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