Huntington Auto Portfolio Up 12% Post FirstMerit Merger

Richard Porello, director of auto finance and dealer services at Huntington Bancshares Inc., moderates a panel at CBA Live 2017.

Richard Porrello, director of auto finance and dealer services at Huntington Bancshares Inc., moderates a panel at CBA Live 2017. (Photo by William Hoffman)

Huntington Auto Finance grew its outstandings to $11.1 billion — a 12.45% increase compared to the same period a year ago, according to the bank’s first quarter earnings.

Huntington’s portfolio was boosted — in part — by the acquisition of FirstMerit Bank, finalized in August, Richard Porrello, director of auto finance and dealer services, previously told Auto Finance News.

However, Porrello also attributed the bank’s consistent underwriting standards, and prime to super prime credit quality for much of the growth.

The merger did not impact the portfolio’s credit quality, Porrello said, however delinquencies 30 days or more past due grew to 0.84% of the portfolio up from 0.7% a year ago, according to today’s earnings release. Likewise, charge-offs grew to 0.45% of the auto portfolio up from 0.28% the year prior.

Huntington originated $1.42 billion in auto loans during the first quarter — a 4.46% increase compared to the same period the year prior, the bank reported. While the merger did add “a few hundred” dealers to Huntington’s network, it didn’t expand the bank’s reach to any new states, Porrello said.

Separately, the company’s high credit quality and penetration in the used-vehicle market makes it resilient in the face of industry concerns surrounding used-vehicle prices on today’s earnings call, Stephen Steinour, president and chief executive of Huntington Bancshares Inc., said on today’s earnings call. 

“The Manheim Index, while it’s moving around a bit, is still quite strong — it doesn’t impact us quite as much” Steinour said. “We’ve done some stress analysis on our portfolio and a fairly significant drop in the Manheim Index does not impact us to any great degree.”

Learn more about the tech and disruption in the industry at Auto Finance Innovation 2017, May 17-18 in San Diego. Visit www.autofinanceinnovation.com and to learn more about the Auto Finance Risk & Compliance Summit, visit www.afrcs.com.

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