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UK sitting on a goldmine of luxury assets

Robyn Hall

May 10, 2012

borro, the personal asset lender, saw a 122% increase in funded loans for 2012, compared to the same period in 2011 especially due to the quality of the assets. The average loan value for 2012 increased to £7,000 (up from £3,500 in 2011) and the average loan value to SMEs (who make up the majority of borro’s loan book) rose 41%, from £17,000 to £24,000 since last year.

Valuation experts at borro have seen larger loans against individual assets including “fancy” coloured diamonds, modern British art and more signed designer jewellery pieces coming from clients looking to unlock finance from their personal assets.

Samantha Lilley, borro head of valuation, said: “We lent £14,000 against a couple of interesting Dylan Lewis bronze Sculptures I valued at borro last year, depicting South African wildlife, including abstract forms of stalking leopards. He is a very popular artist and his pieces do very well at auction; to value unusual studies by Dylan Lewis was most rewarding.”

Annabel Zarandi, valuations executive at borro, added: “The most interesting piece I valued in 2012 was a natural coloured diamond within a ring setting. An amazing piece of jewellery, the piece was accompanied by a GIA certificate describing the diamond as ‘fancy intense yellow and of natural origin’. It was a really interesting piece which required a great deal of research and we were able to lend almost £70,000 against it.”

Paul Aitken, CEO of borro, said: “The big auction houses, such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s, announced assets such as coloured diamonds had set auction records and the value of such assets had rocketed over recent years. It’sno surprise that we’ve seen high value jewellery such as coloured diamonds being used by clients to unlock finance.

“In a climate where loans from traditional sources remain few and far between, an increasing number of individuals, entrepreneurs and small business owners recognise they have accumulated a wealth of personal assets that can temporarily be turned back into cash, quickly and easily. For small business owners and SMEs this is especially important when needing to realise a business opportunity that would not have otherwise been possible. The continuing growing demand for our service just goes to show that alternative forms of financing are becoming more mainstream.”

What the valuers saw coming into the vaults

A collection of French porcelains: £160,000

Round brilliant-cut diamond, set in platinum and yellow gold: £100,000

Single stone marquise cut diamond ring: £89,000

Lamborghini 400: £60,000

Two investment gold bars: £50,000

A Henry Moore sculpture: £50,000

Collection of 22ct gold jewellery: £40,000

18ct white gold Cartier Ballon Blue watch: £35,000

A case of Château Petrus 1982: £16,000

Silver contemporary Faberge egg: £5,000


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