Ally Financial has set aside $2.8 billion in retail auto reserves, a $1.8 billion year-over-year increase, as the COVID-19 crisis continues to afflict the economy, the lender announced during its first-quarter earnings call this morning.
Ally’s auto-specific reserves cover 3.4% of its total $81.5 billion auto portfolio and make up a majority of the lender’s $3.2 billion in firmwide loss reserves.
Yet, Ally joined Bank of America as the latest lender to elect regulators’ option to defer estimated capital impact of current expected credit losses (CECL) implementation until 2022. Ally set aside $2.4 billion in reserves to account for CECL on Jan. 1.
Net charge-offs were up 12 basis points year over year to 1.44% in the first quarter. Total 30-plus day delinquencies, too, increased 63 basis points year over year to 3.19%.
The rise in delinquencies is attributed to the way Ally logs the status of accounts that are in deferral, which are “effectively frozen in their status” until the deferral expires, Ally’s Chief Financial Officer Jennifer LaClair said during the call, noting that this could affect future net charge-off rates negatively. Approximately 1.1 million of its auto customers — or 25% — are using Ally’s deferral program.
Still, as a bank, Ally is in a comfortable liquidity position at $30.1 billion, including cash and cash equivalents and secured and unsecured debt. Deposits — which make up 75% of the bank’s funding source — amounted to $122.3 billion. This month Ally was also able to issue $750 million of unsecured notes due May 1, 2025.
Even so, liquidity should not be a concern considering reduced activity at dealerships lowered application and origination volume by over 50% by late March. Ally expects that trend to continue in line with the shelter-in-place orders. Ally’s total originations for the quarter were relatively flat at $9.1 billion, with used-vehicle originations clocking in at $5 billion.
“Over time as the economy improves, we will be positioned to execute on opportunities, including a potential increase in demand for used vehicles,” LaClair said. “[Ally] will prudently step in where others may have exited, providing adaptable solutions as we did with the expanded Carvana floorplan program.”