Pawnbrokers Alert Capitol Hill Lawmakers of the Effects of De-Risking on Consumers

National Pawnbrokers Association members take to the Hill in Washington, DC, to meet with members of U.S. Congress and their staffs.

The National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA), the only national trade association representing independent pawnbrokers, is holding its annual Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, on April 24, 2018. This year, pawnbrokers will attend meetings with legislators on Capitol Hill to draw attention to bank de-risking practices, which have terminated bank accounts for pawnbrokers across the U.S.

The NPA reports that U.S. banks are terminating financial services to pawnbroking businesses, such as business credit cards, savings, and checking accounts in a practice known as “de-risking.” Tim Collier, pawnbroker and president of the National Pawnbrokers Association states, “De-risking unfairly impacts pawn businesses that service non-recourse collateral loans to approximately 30 million Americans annually who rely on pawn loans to make ends meet when they can’t access money elsewhere.” De-risking is largely caused by overzealous banking regulations and ultimately hurts the most vulnerable in our community.

The NPA Legislative Conference is designed to build and reinforce relationships between pawnbrokers, their Members of Congress, and staff. The conference helps create a greater understanding by Congress of the important role the pawn industry plays in serving the financial needs of Americans.

The NPA represents independently-owned brick and mortar pawn stores which provide access to non-recourse short term, small dollar loans to consumers with limited access to traditional forms of credit. Pawnbrokers are safety-net lenders that provide consumer loans based upon personal property. Pawnbrokers and pawn transactions are covered by 15 federal statutes and regulations, including the consumer protection and anti-money laundering laws that apply to other credit providers designated as financial institutions. These federal, state, and local laws govern all aspects of pawn transactions, including allowable charges, duration, and redemption of collateral, as well as detailed record-keeping requirements.