How does pawnbroking work and why do people use it?

Pawnbroking offers people a quick, convenient and confidential way to borrow money. A short term cash need can be met with no credit check or legal consequences if the loan is not repaid. You are simply borrowing from yourself. It’s really that simple and straightforward!

Providing you have proof of identity (this needs to be an official letter or document with your name and home address on, dated within the last three months; for example: a gas bill, driving licence, tenancy agreement or catalogue statement), we will agree the amount you can borrow from us based on the value of your items.

We will give you a credit agreement which is also your pledge receipt. This clearly outlines the amount you have borrowed and what the repayments are. You will be asked to sign this agreement. In this agreement, we call your items “the pledge”.
You will receive your cash immediately or in the case of online pawnbroking, the next working day (value dependent). Loans under £500 can take up to 3 working days to reach your bank account.

How do I get my items back?

We want to give our customers every help in getting their items back and at Fish Brothers nearly 90% of our customers redeem their pledges.

You can get your items back at any time by returning your pledge receipt and paying what you owe under the agreement. This is called “redeeming”. You have up to six months to redeem your loan. It is really important for you to keep your pledge receipt safe, as without it you may not be able to redeem your items.

Repeat customers make up most of our business, similar to any other lending or retail establishment. Pawnbrokers know the vast majority of their customers because they often borrow against the same items over and over again.

What happens if you can’t redeem after six months?

We want to help you wherever we can. If you cannot redeem the full amount owed by the end of six months, you can repay the interest only, and we will renew the loan for you. We will give you a new contract, allowing you a further six months to pay back your loan, with the full amount owed clearly shown. At this point, if it helps, you can choose to pay back a proportion of your original loan.

However, if you are unable to pay back at least the interest, we follow the guidelines set out by The Consumer Credit Act:
– If you have borrowed £75 or less Fish Brothers keep your pledge.
– If you have borrowed more than £75, Fish Brothers is entitled to sell your pledge in order that we can recover the debt. We will do this through a public auction. The pledge remains your property until it is sold, but the loan remains outstanding and interest will continue to be charged until then.
– If you have borrowed over £100, we will write to give you 14 days notice of our intent to sell your pledge at auction.

Can I pawn more than one piece of jewellery at a time?

Yes. You can bring in as many jewellery items or watches as you like. Each pledge item can be redeemed on its own, or with other pledge items, when the appropriate interest and loan amounts have been paid off.

Do you offer online pawnbroking?

Yes. We can still loan against your items. Please complete the online application form, or alternatively give us a call on 0208 509 1551or email us at

What can I do if I lose my pledge receipt?

Tell us in writing so that no one else will be able to use your receipt. There is a procedure which allows you to get your items back; a local solicitor will normally be able to help you with this but is entitled to charge a fee. You will then be able to redeem your items or renew your loan by paying what you owe.

What is the difference between buying a pre-owned item from a pawnbroking shop and buying it “new” from a high street retailer?

Mainly price. Pawnbrokers can offer you merchandise ranging from 1/3 to 1/2 off the ‘new’ retail price which means we can offer you some great value items!
What’s more, at Fish Brothers, it will be in the best condition possible, having been renovated and polished in our own workshops (in the case of jewellery and watches).

Technical terms:

You may come across some unfamiliar terms when you use a pawnbrokers.
Some are explained below:

Realisation: When a pawnbroker sells your pledge to recover a debt you cannot pay.
Renewal: When the pawnbroker gives you more time to pay off your loan.
Redemption period: The period during which you can redeem your pledge, with your pledge receipt.

We are members of the National Association of Goldsmiths and the Metropolitan Police’s Safe Seller Gold Standard List and are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

To contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) visit their website, call them on 0300 123 9 123 or write to them at South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall, London E14 9SR