The boat loan environment is changing for the better: Three leading marine bankers who attended the Consumer Bankers Association’s “CBA Live” conference recently said that the loan industry is “reconnecting” to the US boating community.
The National Marine Bankers Association (NMBA) had an exhibit booth and presented a workshop with an updated market overview called “A Fresh Look at Marine Lending.” NMBA President Karen Trostle of Sterling Acceptance, Jim Foley of Trident Funding and Jim Coburn of Coburn & Associates attended the conference on behalf of NMBA in an effort to ignite interest in retail marine loans.
Jut over half of the lenders at the conference expect loan demand to increase over the next 12 months. But they also said that growth will be tempered by a sluggish economy.
“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,” said Foley in the statement. “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.”
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