Huntington Eyes New Market Opportunities With FirstMerit | Auto Finance News | Auto Finance News

Huntington Eyes New Market Opportunities With FirstMerit

canstockphoto23814374Huntington Bancshares Inc.’s merger with FirstMerit Corp. opens up new opportunities in “niche” markets, which the bank plans to capitalize on, Chief Executive Steve Steinour said during the Credit Suisse Financial Services Forum this morning.

Among those opportunities is FirstMerit’s position in businesses, such as indirect auto, RVs, and marines, according to Huntington’s presentation.

“FirstMerit practices disciplined and conservative underwriting,” he said. “We also share core interest in consumer lending, small businesses, auto, and indirect product set.” Steinour said. The footprints of both banks compliment each other, he added.

Huntington Bancshares Inc. and FirstMerit Corp. signed a merger agreement on Jan. 26, under which Ohio-based FirstMerit will be acquired by Huntington in a $3.4 billion transaction.

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 already started a five-step integration process, by designating integration leadership teams and kickstarting meetings across bank locations. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter. 

Huntington’s customers are optimistic about 2016 for most markets, excluding oil and gas related loans, Steinour said. “Auto looks good, on both the consumer and the supply side,” he said. “We expect auto to be consistently strong in 2016, expanding into 2017 even.”

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