Asset-backed lending on the rise despite the economy’s recovery

Rich, but feeling the pinch? Just take your Warhol to the posh pawnbrokers

The new ‘asset-backed lenders’ will give you a quick loan against a Lamborghini, an Hermes handbag – or even an oscar. The demand for this type of fast finance is increasing, despite the recovery in the economy, reports Mark Bridge.

Borro is a “luxury asset-backed lender” with discreet offices in London and New York that advances cash to well-heeled and celebrity clients against items from precious stones to fine wine and classic cars. The assets mot lent against include fine jewellery and rare watches, its loas range from £3,000 to £2 million.

Claire Barrington-Jones, a director of Borro, says the company dislikes the pawnbroker label because pawnbrokers are associated with shops and “uber-low” lending amounts and typically cater for a very different market.

Recent loans have included £380,000 against a collection of art by Andy Warhol, and a £18,200 against a Hermes Birkin in black crocodile. Clients often borrow against high-carat rings to cover divorce costs.

The company has lent £125 million against luxury assets in the UK and the US since it was founded in 2008 and says it is a myth that this kind of lending spiked during the credit crunch – in fact, its loan book is increasing with the economic recovery.

Borro lent £55 million last year and expects to lend £100 million in 2015.

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About the Author:

Jay wrote about luxury asset trends for Borro Private Finance