Huntington Bancshares Inc. reported double-digit growth in auto loan and lease originations, hitting $1.4 billion in the first quarter of 2016, the company reported this morning.
Originations were up 30% from the same time a year prior, and up 6% from 4Q15. The originations were comprised of 46% new cars, down from 54% last quarter, according to the earnings release. The average Fico score for the portfolio remained relatively flat at 765, down from 769 last quarter.
“We increased our standards on how we underwrite slightly,” Steve Steinour, president and chief executive, said during the earnings call this morning. “25% of our incremental growth in year over-year overall loan originations was from newer markets.”
Steinour said that the bank is up-to-speed to complete the acquisition of FirstMerit Corp. in 3Q16. “We’ve spent a considerable amount of time with our team and their team, and we’ve got much of the product matching and mapping done,” he said. “We had outlined a sequential integration plan and we are on track.”
Huntington and FirstMerit Corp. signed a merger agreement in January, under which Ohio-based FirstMerit will merge with Huntington in a $3.4 billion transaction. The merger opens up new opportunities in “niche” markets for Huntington, including indirect auto, Steinour said previously.
After the merger is finalized, the overall share of auto loans for the two banks will stand at 17% — $11.3 billion — of the $66.4 billion merged portfolio. The banks have started a five-step integration process, where the integration of the auto finance business is marked as the second stage, and was slanted to be completed in the first 60 days post-merger.
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