Bank lending in the U.K. has been in decline since 2008 leaving alternative lenders in a good position. While crowd-funding and peer-to-peer online finance platforms are getting a lot of attention, there is a much older industry also profiting from the credit crunch. Pawnbrokers are continuing to do what they’ve been doing throughout history and with an influx of credit-starved small businesses, the industry is thriving. Barry Stevenson, chief executive of Albemarle & Bond, says the convenience and speed of a pawn loan are the chief reasons more and more customers are coming in. “They don’t want to waste time with banks for emergency cash flow. They know they can get funds when they need them. It’s very fast and its value for money.” The poor historical image of the pawn shop is slowly being replaced among businesses with a view of pawn loans as just another form of asset-based lending.