The pawn shop market posts record level in Romania in 2023

The turnover of the local pawn shop market increased by 23% compared to 2021 and was 2 times higher than in 2013, at the highest level in history, of over lei 1.6 billion in 2022.

The erosion of the purchasing power of Romanians amid the persistence of inflationary pressures and the reduction of disposable income as a result of  higher lending costs are visible in the local economy. According to data from the National Institute of Statistics, the average monthly expenses of a Romanian increased in the second quarter of this year by 12% compared to the same period last year, to 2,392 lei (after an annual advance of 16% in 2022), while revenues increased by 11.6%, at 2,770 lei (after an annual increase of 14.8% in 2022). Thus, more and more Romanians choose to pawn their valuables: from jewellery and electronics, to bicycles and cars. For 2023, we estimate the continued growth of the pawn market and the exceeding of the historical peak reached in 2022, to about 1.8 billion lei,” said Diana Florescu, KeysFin economic analyst.

The largest pawn shop operators in 2022

BERTUS SRL, the company acting under the BSG Amanet & Exchange brand remained the market leader, with a turnover of lei 265 million (16.2% of the total) after the highest nominal growth of lei 87.1 million and the sixth annual percentage increase in the top 20 of 49% compared to 2021. INVEST INTERMED GF I.F.N. SRL climbed to the second place by turnover (it is at the same time the second employer and number 2 in profitability), following an annual advance of 76.5%, to almost lei 83 million in 2022.

The 20 largest players concentrated just over half (50.4%) of the turnover of local pawn shops in 2022.

In 2022 there were 1,718 companies that managed pawn shops, 8% less than in 2021 and 25% less than in 2013. The number of insolvencies remained the same in 4 of the last 5 years, at 8 insolvencies in 2022.

The net result (net profit minus net loss) of pawn shops increased by 23% compared to 2021 and was 107% above the 2018 level, at the historical peak of lei 402 million in 2022.

According to KeysFin, of the 1.7 thousand companies analysed, about 1.1 thousand (65.5%) registered profit, 358 (20.8%) had a net loss, while the rest had a null result in 2022.

The average number of employees in the pawn shop market decreased by 3.9% compared to 2021 and was 18.4% below the 2018 level, to almost 4.6 thousand in 2022.

By company type, the micro-enterprises were the largest employers with 48.6% (2.2 thousand employees) of the pawn shop market workforce in 2022. At the opposite end, a worrying signal is given by the 601 companies (35%) that had no employees in 2022.


Note: The KeysFin analysis is based on the annual, non-adjusted, aggregated financial data reported by companies at the Ministry of Finance (at the end of the period) that have as main activity the NACE code 6492: Other lending activities.

2022: preliminary data that may be subject to change by the end of the year.

2023KeysFinmarketpawn shoprecordRomania
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  • Panagiotis Spyridis

    Time for the Banks to move in and start the cheap consumer loans to private customers.