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Cutting subprime boosts income

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Huntington National Bank, one of the banks that abandoned the subprime auto loan business, showed a profit in its Dealer Sales division after it stopped buying subprime paper.

The Dealer Sales unit had net income of $22.2 million for the most recent quarter, a substantial turnaround from the net loss of $42.7 million it posted in the preceding three months. Year to date, the auto finance unit has a small net profit of about $400,000, despite several one-time charges in the second quarter for items that included subprime auto loans, delinquent loans and losses on off-lease vehicles. The bank quit buying subprime auto loans in July, but continues to buy prime-risk leases and loans.

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