MPBA Code of Ethics and Best Practices
We, the members of the Missouri PawnBrokers Association, having committed ourselves to contributing to the professional and personal development of member pawnbrokers, advocating pawnbroker rights and responsibilities, and enhancing and promoting a positive and professional image to the public, do hereby adopt and embrace the following Code of Ethics and Best Practices:
Each member must:
- Strive to conduct their business in such a manner as to enhance and promote the positive and professional image of all pawnbrokers.
- Maintain their place of business and its operation in a manner that will reflect distinction and professionalism of the pawn industry.
- Transact business with customers and the general public in an honest, forthright manner, making service with integrity a constant goal.
- Engage in fair and vigorous competition to stimulate the continued growth and evolution of the pawn industry.
- Obey all laws enacted by the local, state, and federal government and assist in the prosecution of those who do not.
- Strive to establish positive and long-lasting relations with local, state, and federal government officials.
- Maintain a united commitment to respect and protect the constitutional rights and the financial well-being of Association members and their customers.
- Assist the Missouri PawnBrokers Association in promoting a positive image of the profession.
- Promote the Association to potential new members and provide assistance to the Association in its efforts to increase membership.
- Assist the Association as requested in its day-to-day operations, participate in its annual elections, and cooperate in special projects and investigations.
- Endeavor to maintain a financial commitment to the Association.
- Align with the policies and procedures of the Association in a manner conducive to the benefit and welfare of the Association, its members, and their customers.
Pawnbrokers should strive for the following:
- Enhance Pawn Image: Members should protect the professional image of the pawn industry by maintaining reputable stores that enhance and promote a favorable representation of all pawnbrokers. Members should employ professional staff and keep their stores updated, clean, and brightly lit to sustain the evolution of the pawn industry.
- Business Practices: Members should conduct business with the highest level of integrity. They should attentively interact with the general public by offering superb customer service and quality merchandise.
- Promote Responsible Borrowing: Members should encourage customers to use pawn services responsibly, by working with them to encourage repayment of their pawn loans and reclaim their pledged property.
- Stolen Property: Members should avoid the acceptance of stolen property by refusing any items that are suspicious in nature or thought to be misappropriated.
- Law Enforcement: Members should work closely with law enforcement officials to help ensure the safety of their respective communities while encouraging respect for the financial privacy rights of their customers.
- Satisfaction Guarantee: Members should back their quality merchandise by offering retail customers a fair satisfaction-guaranteed program.
- Display MPBA Membership Seal: Members should notably display the MPBA seal in their stores to signify their affiliation with the organization and commitment to these Best Practices.
- Support Balanced Legislation: Members should take an active role in public policy, and be amenable to working with lawmakers and regulators to support legislation that will enhance the products and services offered by pawnbrokers.
- Accountability: Members should monitor other member businesses and hold them accountable for following these Best Practices.
- Laws & Regulations: Members should comply with all federal, state, local laws, and regulations related to the pawn industry.
Pawnbrokers are licensed and regulated by local, state, and federal (Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Treasury Department) authorities and must abide by the:
- Truth in Lending Act
- Equal Credit Opportunity Act
- Fair Credit Reporting Act
- Patriot Act
- Federal Trade Commission Rules on Marketing and Data Privacy and Security
- Federal Firearms Laws and Regulations (for stores dealing in firearms)
- State laws
- Local ordinances
The best practices presented in this document are general in nature. MPBA members should not use the contents of this document in lieu of legal advice from qualified local counsel in their respective jurisdictions because state or local laws may create additional or different compliance responsibilities.