U.K Revealed: The picture that shows even the rich have suffered in the credit crunch
This incredible photograph illustrates the full extent to which the credit crunch has hit even the super rich.
Pawnbroker Paul Aitken poses with six Rolex watches, two Ferraris, a Porsche – and even an aeroplane – which have all been pawned during the recession.
Both Ferraris – F430 F1 paddle-shift models worth a total of £270,000 with a top speed of 198mph – were pawned by bankers who lost their jobs.
Credit crunched: The recession has caused even the super rich to turn to pawnbrokers like Paul Aitken, pictured, in an attempt to raise some cash
The £75,000 175mph Porsche 911 Carrera 4S was pawned by a property developer whose assets crashed, leaving him desperate for much-needed capital.
Aitken took possession of the aeroplane, a French-built two-seater Cap 10 aerobatic stunt plane worth £100,000, four months ago when its owner fell on hard times.
The Rolex watches are among more than 1,000 designer timepieces, worth a total of more than £1 million, which have been used as deposit for pawn loans.
Among them are a Breitling Crosswind diamond set worth £3,000, a £33,000 Lange & Sohne Flyback Datograph gents wristwatch in 18ct rose gold, and a £20,000 Patek Philippe 18ct gold gents wristwatch.
Yesterday Aitken, 37, managing director of online pawnbrokers http://www.borro.com, said: ‘We’ve seen the biggest economic crisis hit this country for years, and everyone is feeling the disastrous effects.
‘When someone rang us asking to pawn his Ferrari we thought he was joking.
‘This really shows how hard the recession has hit people – even those who are well-off have had to adjust their standard of living.
‘Last week a newly married man gave us his Rolex watch his wife bought him as a wedding present.
‘But he isn’t alone, as many wealthy businessmen are having to take extreme measures once they’ve realised they aren’t able to maintain their lavish lifestyles.
‘And that might mean giving up the keys of their Ferrari, Porsche or plane for some much-needed cash.’
While other businesses have struggled to make ends meet over the last two years, Oxford-based http://www.borro.com has seen a staggering increase in trade.
They have loaned money to everyone from struggling millionaires to Premiership footballers and postmen, all in need of a few quid.
The company, which is the world’s first online pawnbrokers, currently has more than £1m worth of supercars in storage.
They hang on to items for six months and then have the right to sell the item to cover their costs, returning any remaining money to the customer.
Aitken added: ‘Our average loan is over £1,000 versus £130 on the high street.
‘We are attracting a new type of customer to Pawnbroking. In the last ten weeks our loan book has doubled and this year we are up 1,700 per cent.
‘Our business works because it is a repeat business; nine out of 10 customers repay their loans and return when the need is there.
‘The industry as a whole has been working hard over the past number of years to improve its image and with credit becoming much harder to secure, people have been more open to this form of borrowing which in turn, is helping to reduce the stigma associated with pawnbroking.
‘That said a key factor in our success is that Borro.com offers a highly efficient, easy to access, and very discreet service which is attractive to those who do not like the idea of visiting a high street operator.’