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A Reading-based pawnbroker has revealed that a high street "gold rush" as households look to raise cash by selling jewellery has slowed sharply.
Albemarle & Bond, which has around 169 stores and 38 gold-buying "pop-up" shops, said it was too early to determine whether the "marked slowdown" in its gold buying operation reflected recent wet weather or was part of a developing trend.
Growth in the value of gold bought by the company has slowed from over 50% in the first half of its financial year to mid single digits in the last eight weeks. With the market price of gold falling, Albemarle said profits for the year will increase at a rate below current market forecasts.