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Pawnshops evolve with the times, serves as key players in financial inclusion initiatives

According to the latest Anti-Money Laundering Council’s Strategic Analysis Report published in 2018, pawnshops along with money service businesses are crucial to the promotion of financial inclusion. These alternative financial service access points contribute to the further expansion of the formal financial system.

In fact, pawnshops have become one of the biggest supporters of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ program in promoting microfinancial services and providing financial access to the poor and micro and small entrepreneurs, something that is not otherwise possible via banks and bigger financial organizations.

Contrary to the misconception, local pawnshops are actually highly professional organizations that follow one of the strictest code of operations, based on BSP guidelines, and likewise comply with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s requirements on corporate governance. Cebuana Lhuillier, one of the country’s major players in the pawning industry with all of its 2,500 branches nationwide, undergo regular trainings  and armed with the highest standard of appraisals, so clients are assured of getting the best value for their pawned items at any time and at any branch.

“Over the years, pawning has evolved to become the fastest and easiest means to get access to cash. With our wide network, we are able to reach the vast majority of people who have little to no access to financial services. This, in turn, helps Filipinos level up and take the first step towards financial wellness.” said Jean Henri Lhuillier, president and CEO of Cebuana Lhuillier.

As the coming of a new decade beckons a myriad of opportunities for Filipinos to take control of their own fate, the support of government entities such as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) alongside private institutions like Cebuana Lhuillier, remain invaluable as they continue to pave the road to financial inclusion for every Filipino.