Regions Shrinks Dealer Network in Effort to Reduce Losses

  • Natalie Mattila
  • November 22, 2017

Tom Lazenby, senior vice president and head of dealer financial services and direct auto lending at Regions Dealer Financial Services, participates in a panel discussion at the 2017 Auto Finance Summit.

LAS VEGAS — Regions Dealer Financial Services deactivated one third of its dealers over the course of three years in an effort to bolster operational efficiency, Tom Lazenby, the bank’s senior vice president and head of dealer financial services and direct auto lending, said at the 2017 Auto Finance Summit.

“We spent a lot of time in past two to three years managing our dealer base because that’s where a lot of efficiencies start,” he said. For example, Regions developed additional dealer parameters to lower losses, although Lazenby did not specify the parameters or the bank’s dealer network size.

Regions is placing a focus on midsize dealer groups, “because we found that’s where we get best efficiencies and the best performance,” he said. Through those dealers, Regions will expand its footprint into four additional states within the next month.

Separately, Regions continues to see declines in its auto portfolio amid a repositioning away from third-party providers of loans in favor of growth in the bank’s own indirect lending efforts, according to the company’s third-quarter earnings.

Earlier this year, Regions ended a partnership with an undisclosed third-party loan provider, which is expected to reduce the lender’s portfolio by $510 million this year.

For more coverage from the 2017 Auto Finance Summitclick here.

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