Pawnbroker’s based at Wakefield’s Merchant Gate scheme goes into administration

A cash-for gold pawnbroker’s which moved its headquarters to Wakefield’s Merchant Gate development in 2011 is facing job losses after going into administration.

A decline in gold prices has forced Albemarle and Bond, which is Britain’s second largest pawnbroker and employs 900 people UK-wide, to call in administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

PwC said redundancies were possible after efforts to turn the business around, which included closing 40 pop-up shops over the last six months, proved unsuccessful.

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Joint administrator Mike Jervis said: “We plan to sell all or part of the business to protect as many jobs as possible and we have already paid, or will be paying all staff, including accrued bonuses, as normal in March. Also, all landlords have been paid.

“However, some redundancies may be necessary depending on the outcome of efforts to sell the business.”

The firm, which provides services including gold-buying, pawnbroking cheque-cashing unsecured lending and foreign exchange, moved its headquarters and 72 staff from Leeds to Merchant Gate in May 2011.

At the time, the move was seen as a boost for Merchant Gate, which was standing empty after failing to attract occupants since its opening in September 2010.