UK pawnbrokers praised at awards, with £28,000 raised for charity.
The National Pawnbrokers Association’s (NPA) annual conference and awards took place earlier this month, focused on the theme of excellence in pawnbroking.
The conference – the 81st to be held – took place in association with the Birmingham Assay Office, which dubbed the event “a lively affair with pawnbrokers generally upbeat and positive as their businesses continue to prosper”.
The conference featured a number of guest speakers including representatives from Birmingham’s Fellows Auctioneers who offered technical watch advice and a presentation focused on the identification of fake and customised watches.
Michael Allchin, chief executive of The Birmingham Assay Office, was also a guest speaker at the conference. He spoke on the subject of precious metal prices and hallmarking statistics, and his analysis of trends and the state of the market.
Gold expert Philip Newman from Thomson Reuter GFMS, who undertake global research to provide reliable analysis and robust predictions of what may happen next, discussed the gold market.
The NPA’s awards dinner took place after the conference, said to be a hotly contested event.
The Store of the Year gong went to Mallards of Southend on Sea. Deborah Howard of The Money Shop was declared Employee of the Year and James Constantinou was named the pawnbroking industry’s Rising Star.
The Kids Get Going project, an initiative launched by H&T, scooped the Community Contribution prize, while the Cheque Centre was awarded New Member of the Year.
The Employer of the Year Award, sponsored by The Birmingham Assay Office was also won by H&T.
A charity auction held at the awards raised £28,000 for the NSPCC, with Fellow’s Stephen Whittaker taking to the plinth to host the auction.
The NPA Annual Conferecce 2012 Awards’ Winners
Store of the Year
Mallard Pawnbrokers – Southend on Sea
H&T Pawnbrokers – Kids Get Going
Employee of the Year
Deborah Howard, The Money Shop
New Member of the Year
Employer of the Year