CNBC reports on Borro, an online pawnbroker, that seems to be doing good business in art-backed short-term loans:
Speaking to CNBC.com in his office on Chancery Lane in the City of London, Borro founder and CEO Paul Aitken reeled off a list of recent loan deals: “What have we got going on this week? We’ve got a 50-grand ($82,000) loan against a yacht, 75,000 (pounds) against a classic Aston Martin; a Picasso that was bought in 1989. We did some Andy Warhols the other week.
“Four and a half grand on a Rolex – needed the money while he’s going through a divorce. An art dealer closed a loan for five grand this week. That’s the guy that’s coming back with the Picasso. Someone who borrowed 20 grand against a Jaguar–that closed yesterday. That was for something to do with his business. We get a lot of small business owners that need liquidity,” he said. […]
In June, the company lent more than 2 million pounds. As a sign of its increasing legitimacy, it is seeing more and more deals referred through independent financial advisers and private wealth managers, with clients taking out loans on expensive watches, cars and art to finance other investments.
“I won’t deny that we have customers for whom it is lender of last resort and distressed lending, but the majority of people who come to us are not desperate,” Aitken said. “If you’ve got a Rolex, are you desperate?”