Baby boomers cashing in on high-value assets

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Fine art, antiques and rare jewellery are among the assets being used by the growing number of over-50s in Scotland turning to online pawnbrokers to ease their cash worries.

There has been a 56 per cent rise since 2009 in the number of over-50s depositing valuables with personal asset lender borro in return for short-term finance. People in that age group now account for one in four of its customers, reflecting rising living costs and shrinking savings incomes.

Some one in ten borro customers lives in Scotland, according to the firm, with around half of its lending from Scotland against jewellery and watches and another fifth against art.

Among the high net worth assets that borro has lent against is a pop art canvas by American artist Ed Ruscha, with a loan value of £150,000; a McLaren SLR Roadster (£120,000); a Gibson Les Paul Guitar (£80,000) and a single stone diamond ring valued at £70,000.

Paul Aitken, chief executive of borro, said: “Baby-boomers are realising they have some very interesting and valuable personal assets sitting in their homes or in storage which can be used to release capital.

“Against the current economic background, we are seeing pre-retirees and retirees looking for savvy ways of raising money to perhaps supplement disappointing pension payments or to pay for unexpected financial situations.“

JEFF SALWAY