SAVINGS banks rescued by a multi-billion EU bailout are raising hundreds of thousands from pawn-shop auctions.
In the wake of Spain’s economic crisis, cajas – or savings banks – have returned to their roots by regrowing their pawn-brokerage business as a way of accessing revenue.
“This is where and how our business really started, so we’re returning to our origins,” said Santiago Gil, Director of Caja Madrid’s pawnshop, the Monte de Piedad de Madrid.
The non-profit Caja Madrid Foundation, formerly owned by the failed Bankia bank, raised €909,000 for social projects at a recent jewellery auction by its pawn shop.
A gold bracelet featuring diamonds and sapphires brought in €27,500.