Lenders Expect Small December Rate Hike, Won't Hurt Much | Auto Finance News | Auto Finance News

Lenders Expect Small December Rate Hike, Won’t Hurt Much

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / erierikaLenders said they aren’t fazed by the near certainty the Federal Open Market Committee could raise interest rates at its meeting next week, Dec. 15 and Dec. 16, after repeatedly postponing action earlier this year.

“I think we will get a rate hike here in December,” said Bill Rogers, president and chief executive of Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks Inc., on Tuesday.

In a statement from the last FOMC meeting in October, committee members said, “While no decision had been made, it may well become appropriate to initiate the normalization process at the next meeting.”

For credit in general, not just auto loans, Rogers said credit quality should continue to be good in 2016, and that any deterioration would be gradual. “Credit quality will continue to be good. But we are in a cycle, and it will be a multiyear transition,” he said at the Goldman Sachs Financial Services Conference in New York.

Ally Financial Chief Executive Jeffrey Brown said at the conference he’s bullish for 2016. “There’s a few bank CEOs that are out there that are very bullish on the economy right now in U.S. consumer trends. I’d tell you I’m one of them. I feel very confident in the resiliency of the U.S. economy and trends that we’re seeing in the economy today,” he said.

U.S. auto sales should stay at or near record highs this year, next year, and even a couple years beyond, Brown said. “For us, as we look forward we’re thinking new car sales are going to be normalized somewhere around mid-17 million units for the next several years.”


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