Auto News digest -- F&I

Ohio lender records loss

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Huntington National Bank reported that its dealer sales activity, which includes indirect auto finance and floorplanning, had a net loss of $42.7 million for the second quarter or $24.1 million for the first half. Results included special charges totaling $60.5 million to write off items including subprime auto loans, delinquent loans and increased bankruptcies. The bank also had charges of $20 million to increase reserves for residual losses on off-lease vehicles and $12 million to write down the value of assets that were securitized earlier. Before taxes and special charges, dealer sales earned $17.8 million for the second quarter, down 27.3 percent. The bank announced last month that it would stop buying subprime auto loans but would continue to originate prime-risk leases and loans.

Another bank bails out

ELMIRA, N.Y. - Elmira Savings Bank, FSB, will stop accepting auto loans from dealers starting Sept. 1. Elmira operates six offices in New York state and Pennsylvania. The bank, which will continue to offer auto loans directly to customers, had provided loans to dealerships since 1983.

Chase Auto sees increase

GARDEN CITY, N.Y - Chase Auto Finance Corp. had record auto loan and lease originations of $9.1 billion in the first half, an increase of 78.4 percent over the same period last year. In the first quarter of 2000, the bank took a $100 million charge, expecting lower resale values for its off-lease cars and light trucks.

Union Acceptance pulls back

INDIANAPOLIS - Prime and near-prime auto lender Union Acceptance Corp. has raised its credit standards and, at least temporarily, cut back on buying loans from dealers, according to Chairman Michael Stout. The company buys loans from about 5,600 dealers in 40 states. In the quarter that ended June 30, Union Acceptance bought $198.8 million worth of loans, less than half the year-ago total. For the fiscal year that ended June 30, it had net income of $4.2 million, down 75.3 percent. The fiscal fourth quarter included a one-time charge of $15 million for underestimating losses on loans. Without that and other charges, net income for fiscal 2001 would have been $23.3 million.

It's in the mail

DETROIT - Customers whose leases are about to expire will start seeing direct-mail offers telling them they are prequalified for a loan on a new vehicle. Auto marketers now can match registration data and credit data to identify creditworthy individuals who are likely to be car shopping. That is according to R.L. Polk & Co., which compiles registrations, and One2One Group of Los Angeles, which analyzes credit data. On Aug. 6, the two companies announced the national rollout of a joint venture called "PolkOne" to sell the marketing service to dealers and lenders.

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