Boosting floorplan financing volume is top of mind for Bank of the West, Michael Pereira, the bank’s executive vice president and head of personal finance, told Auto Finance News.
“The flooring is very much integrated within our [retail] program,” Pereira said, adding that the lender is making strides to better connect with and service dealer partners.
In fact, the bank recently piloted a program aimed at deepening dealer partnerships in California, which included a loyalty rewards program. Through the program, dealers can accumulate loyalty rewards for funding and receive rebates when bundling retail and the floorplan together, Pereira said. Early feedback to the program has been positive, he noted.
“Our desire to expand to a preferred lender platform is to be able to offer our dealers the ability to have a ‘one-stop’ shop to support their needs,” said Senior Vice President and Head of Auto Kim Gershon.
Though financing dealer stock is not a new loan product for the San Francisco-based lender, it has a renewed purpose under Pereira. “It’s something we do, but it was not as focused as it is now in our Plus Program,” he said. “It’s linked with the overall marketing to the dealership.” The Plus Program, a strategic project aimed at transforming the bank’s auto business, has been Pereira’s brainchild since he joined in mid-2017.
“We are well positioned to look at the dealer’s needs in terms of his retail financing, his commercial financing needs, and his cash management needs, as well as his family and personal wealth needs,” he said.
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