TEN jobs are under threat at a Sunderland store after the collapse of a national pawnbroking chain.
Financial specialist PwC has been appointed as administrator of Albemarle & Bond Holdings plc, Albemarle & Bond Jewellers & Pawnbrokers Limited and Herbert Brown & Son Limited, which trade as Albemarle Bond and Herbert Brown.
The group is the second largest pawnbroker in the UK, with 183 branches, including one in Holmeside in Sunderland city centre. Nationally, almost 900 jobs are at risk.
Forty branches were closed last year after a fall in the price of gold. Efforts to turn the business since then have been unsuccessful.
PwC partner and joint administrator Mike Jervis said: “Our priority is to keep all pledged items safe and available for redemption as normal.
“We plan to sell all or part of the business to protect as many jobs as possible.
“However, some redundancies may be necessary depending on the outcome of efforts to sell the business. Every branch will initially remain open.”
Customers can call 0844 209 9903 for further assistance.