Catholic Church

Today when we think in an endeavour houses, speak in the terms of the pignoraticious credit. This form of loan began its history in Europe, more precisely in Italy, at the beginning of the 15th century. The collateral loan initiators were the Franciscans, who sought to raise money to pay their taxes support to poor people. In this way, their first customers were farmers, artisans, small shopkeepers and the poor who did not have a permanent job. In antiquity to pawn shops is known as Monte Pio, which means piety box, since it literally was a kind of metal box in which both kept the money as things remaining to pledge the loan. The term mercy was used not only for the reason that was a pious Act to help the most needy; but also because it was to differentiate revenue for the coffers of the monks, i.e., given that they had different mountains or savings boxes intended for different types of support, should specify that the pio monte was destined for the collateral loan.

Thus, the Franciscans had savings to Government support, to charity and also lucrative acts. Thus, pawn shops covering the needs of middle and low, social class through the granting of loans, which are guaranteed with clothes and puntilla. To fulfill its purpose of support, the first houses of endeavour they obtained their resources through the acquisition of deposits in metals, basically gold. Similarly, they resorted to the proceeds of the alms, tithe, support provided by the Royal Crown and the income obtained from different fairs and religious celebrations. Given that, almost immediately, resources were insufficient to keep the expedited activity in a sustainable way, it was necessary to charge interest on loans made. Such interests counted with the support of the Catholic Church. For the purpose of not fall into a sort of usury, which became a problem for the congregations that incurred in this type of support, the Lateran Council, was held in the year 1515.

This reconciled sought the possibility of set interest rates that would be generated in the interests caused by the collateral loan. While criticisms did not do is to expect during the Council of Trent, which lasted 18 years, the time that was spent was necessary for the benefits given pawn shops met. So was that, from the 18th century, the then called Montes peeps, began to be sponsored by private initiative, i.e., by the Royal Crown and the nobility, who kept the functioning of pawn shops, benefico-religiosa inspired of the Franciscans.

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