At the counter of the municipal credit of Toulouse, about twenty people are queuing. Among them, Jessica holds a small box in her hands. The woman comes to drop off the jewelry left to her by her grandmother. “Times are hard“, she comments. Faced with the decline in purchasing power and soaring interest rates, many French people like Jessica, in search of liquidity, are turning again to these pawnbrokers. These municipal and public establishments offer loans at advantageous rates in exchange for a valuable object.
>> Inflation increases further in April in France and reaches 4.8% over one year, according to INSEE
Jessica will for example be able to recover her jewelry in six months, once she has reimbursed the sum of money which will be paid to her, plus some interest. In line she say hope to get 300 euros with her jewelry : “It’s my last resort to keep my kids eating and gas in my car“.
These profiles, like that of Jessica, are more and more frequent, explains the director of municipal credit of Toulouse Franck Painmesure, with an increase of 10% since the beginning of the year 2022: “There is a period of upsurge in pawnbroking. Currently we have 80 people a day who come to make these loans. The average loan is around 600 euros.“
“It’s basically gold jewelry, but it can also be paintings, silverware, scarves.”Franck Painmesure, director of the municipal credit of Toulouse
In total there are 6 000 loans that have been made since the beginning of the year in this municipal credit, for an amount of four million euros. “With the resumption of inflation, there are needs that are not being metcontinues the director. In the banks, it is difficult to have small loans. Here, all you need is an identity document and proof of address.“
Franck Painenverse continues : “The municipal credit is a public establishment whose objective is to generate profits and distribute dividends. So it’s very interesting for people to come. They come to us for this quick and simple repair.“
The boom of pawnbrokers: the report in Toulouse by Hugo Charpentier