From The New York Times:
Pawnshops have had a less than savory reputation for taking advantage of vulnerable customers, but things are changing.
As banks zero in on more affluent customers who promise twice the revenue of their lower-income counterparts, close branches in poor areas and remain stingy with credit, pawnshops are revamping their image and stepping into the void to offer financial services. “The way the banks have tightened up so much on making small loans and making equity loans, we’ve kind of evolved into, I like to call it the poor man’s bank,” said Robbie Whitten, chief executive of Money Mizer Pawn and Jewelry of Columbus, Ga. Read more
There are, however, plenty of potential drawbacks, consumer advocates say.