About Us – Cash Exchange
Cash Exchange started business from a shop in South West London in November 2004 and is an independent family run business. We conduct our business with integrity and treat all our customers with dignity and respect. This has enabled us to grow the business to where it is today.
We are traders at heart with retailing, buying and selling of pre-owned goods sitting at the core of business, but we also offer a number of Financial Service products such a Pawnbroking, Gold Buying, Foreign Currency and Western Union Money Transfer.
Cash Exchange is a member of the National Pawnbrokers Association.
Profile of the NPA
The NPA was founded in 1892 and incorporated in 1931 as a company limited by guarantee. In June 1989, with the benefit of almost a century of experience, it reviewed and re-wrote its original constitution. The review had several purposes, but was undertaken in particular:
- To take account of the recent expansion of the Pawnbroking industry
- To ensure that its affairs and those of its members were more efficiently regulated
- To protect the public interest, especially given the general environment of self-regulation in the financial services sector.
History of Pawnbroking
Pawn shops originated around 3,000 years ago in Ancient China, acting as a way for struggling peasants to get their hands on cash, fast! The pawnbroker would hold items of value for an agreed amount of time until the loan could be paid back and with the agreed sum of interest. This industry also thrived in ancient Greece and Rome, with our word ‘pawn’ coming from the Latin word ‘platinum’ meaning ‘cloth’ or ‘clothing’.
Pawnbroking, or short-term credit became an important way of financing business ventures in the 14th and 15th centuries, and well-off, noted families became famous for their money lending. The most famous family in the UK was the Lombard family. King Edward III famously pawned some of his jewels to them to help raise funds for the war against France and Queen Isabella of Spain pawned her jewels so that Christopher Columbus could sail in search of a new route to the West Indies. In turn, he stumbled upon America. Throughout history, people from all walks of life have used pawn shops from Kings and the rich to your average person.
Pawning their clothes, often the most expensive thing they owned was a good way for the poverty-stricken to take low-interest loans and curb their debt. In England in 1872 an Act was passed called the Pawnbrokers Act, which established guidelines and restrictions for interest rates, regulation of the industry and prevented brokers from selling stolen items. This Act still stands today.
Today, customers who the Pawnbroking services of Cash Exchange can differ quite widely. There are those who use the service in its traditional sense, somewhat like an overdraft, but there are also those, as seen in various TV series such a Pawn Stars, Regal Pawn and Beverly Hills Pawn, that use it as a good way of selling their treasured historical and impressive items for a bit of quick cash. It’s safe to say that when you’re working in a pawn shop, you can’t ever be sure what’s going to come through the door next!