U.S. Bank Improves Auto Decisioning to Compete in Tight-Margin Business | Auto Finance News | Auto Finance News

U.S. Bank Improves Auto Decisioning to Compete in Tight-Margin Business

John Hyatt, U.S. Bank’s executive vice president of dealer services

SHANGHAI — U.S. Bank increased its auto decisioning capabilities and improved efficiencies in its sales team earlier this year to reduce expenses and continue to grow the business, said John Hyatt, executive vice president of dealer services.

The comments came as part of a panel discussion at the Auto Finance Summit Asia, in which Hyatt was explaining the lengths with which prime lenders will go to shave even just a few basis points off their expense sheet.

“We have to do [auto decisioning] as a course of business, or we wouldn’t be able to afford the expense load,” he said. “We’re looking for automated ways to fund the deals to communicate to the dealer to get the applications in.” Specifically, the bank is now working with an unnamed company that allows the lender to scan physical paper documents and automatically inputs the information into the bank’s systems.

Additionally, U.S. bank has “flattened” its sales team — meaning there are fewer people between a dealer and the head of sales in the region. “We have fewer people at a higher quality, which has enabled us to grow at 10% a year since 2015 and our expense base has flattened down,” he said. “We set an expectation for the team that every year they have to get better, faster, and cheaper.”

U.S. Bank uses about 100 sales reps for 8,000 auto dealers and checks with them frequently to make sure these goals are being met. “We look at not just the volume each person brings in, but the quality of the volume they bring in and the product mix,” he said. “Then, we look at the individual sales person’s losses because we believe if they are not the first line of defense [against bad dealer relationships] they are not the salesperson we need in the first place.”

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