CHICAGO – Bankers from across the U.S. heard reasons why boat loans should be in their stable of offerings at the Consumer Bankers Association’s “CBA Live” annual lending conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Registrants at the conference were generally open to the idea of serving or reconnecting with the marine community, the National Marine Bankers Association (NMBA) stated in a press release.
Three members of the NMBA attended the conference: president Karen Trostle of Sterling Acceptance; Jim Foley of Trident Funding; and immediate past president Jim Coburn of Coburn & Associates. The members hosted an exhibit booth and networked with the attendees to give details about the NMBA’s Annual Conference, Marine Lending Workshop and information from the updated market overview, “A Fresh Look at Marine Lending.”
Overall, the lenders at the conference expected a slight rise in loan demand over the next year (59 percent expect loan demand to increase in the next 12 months), the release stated.
“We talked to lenders not currently serving the market with an interest in learning more about the composition of boat loan portfolios. They assumed their portfolio would reflect the type of boating in their market area but needed a basic understanding of lien perfection and were curious about borrower profiles,” Trostle stated in the release. “Others who were current or former boat lenders were more focused on the state of the boating industry and collateral values. We explained that we had resources and data available to both groups that could assist in learning the boat lending routine or to benchmark performance.”
“There doesn’t appear to be a preference for lending on types or sizes of boats, sail or power, or comparisons with other installment lending areas, such as RVs or home equity products,” Foley stated in the release. “The focus now more than ever is on borrower quality and having a comfort level with a higher down payment level or equity that the borrower is willing to commit to the transaction. For banks that have been making boat loans, they will likely close more loans where there has been a profitable history with retailers, brokers and manufacturer brands. But, the bottom line is reducing risk with any loan transaction.”
“We also provided details of the SBA’s Dealer Floorplan Financing Program which is seeking enhancements to increase loan caps to $5 million, eliminate fees, and make other improvements that will spur availability for business credit,” Coburn stated in the release. “Many of the CBA member lenders provide commercial credit to businesses in their markets and could facilitate these programs.”
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