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Festive gift from pawnbroker bank

Some of Toulouse’s poorest residents handed a welcome Christmas present - courtesy of the city's Crédit Municipal

22 December 2014

SOME of Toulouse’s poorest residents have been handed an unexpected and welcome Christmas gift - courtesy of the city’s Crédit Municipal.

The non-profit-making organisation, which accepts household goods as security against low-cost short-term loans, has said that - until January 15 - customers who deposited items in return for much-needed cash before December 15 can reclaim them if they are being held against a loan worth less than €50.

The Rose City’s Crédit Municipal has already contacted those clients who are entitled to benefit from the scheme, and estimates that 1,200 items out of the 140,000 it holds against loans, are set to be returned to their owners.

About 200 customers have already come forward to reclaim their goods, the organisation said.

Jean-Christian Carrie, director of operational services of the Crédit Municipal de Toulouse, said that the organisation is currently helping 11,500 people in the city, with loans averaging about €500.

He said: “Nearly 85% of deposited items are jewels but there are also paintings, silverware, trinkets, and antique toys.”

He added that only 10% of deposited items make it to auction.

Photo: Screengrab / France 3 Midi Pyrenees

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