Pawnbroker H&T is poised to close its Gold Bar fascia after the price of gold fell while competition heated up.

H&T had 55 Gold Bar stores last year but has shuttered a raft of shops with just five remaining, which are “likely” to close.

H&T chief executive John Nichols said the stores were to take on short-term leases to capitalise on the high price of gold and the remaining stores were likely to close in the next 12 months, the Scotsman reported.

However, Nichols said if the price of gold rocketed back up then the fascia would reappear. Gold cost $1,800 (£1,165) per ounce last autumn but is now nearer $1,300 (£841), while payday lenders have upped the competition in the sector.

The pawnbroker reported that first half pre-tax profits fell 39% to £14.8m year on year and that it is pulling out of the payday loan market, which is facing a Competition Commission investigation.

H&T, which has 193 stores in total, said it will instead focus on its financial services arm.