Subprime lender Western Funding Inc. plans to double its loan portfolio, in 2015, for the second straight year. “The expectation is that we’ll be growing to about $200 million at the end of next year,” from about $60 million in 2014, said Western Funding President Guerin Senter during a webinar yesterday sponsored by the Center for Auto Finance Excellence.
The anticipated loan growth will bring the company — a unit of Los Angeles-based Westlake Financial — under Consumer Financial Protection Bureau supervision, as defined in the proposed “Larger Participant” rule, and bring a level of scrutiny the company was able to avoid this year. To achieve that growth, Las Vegas-based Western Funding has developed a new participation program, set to debut in the first quarter of 2015, that will pay dealers more money for better performance, “greatly” expanding its internal and external sales forces, and continuing to utilize automation to create more efficient and predictable processes for dealers, customers, and tech vendors, Senter told Auto Finance News.
“Two of the biggest implementations that we made this year were SalesForce and an automated decisioning engine,” Senter said during the webinar. The decisioning tool, acquired through dealer management software DealerCenter, facilitates a decision in 15 seconds. “It used to take us, maybe, 17 minutes for a person to manually decision a deal,” he said.