Marine lending tightens further

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Provident Bank finalized its merger with M&T Bank, removing one more marine lender from the retail landscape.

“Provident was a fairly significant national lender,” with a portfolio of $350 million to $400 million in retail finance, said Don Parkhurst, who heads up marine lending for SunTrust Bank. “A lot of that volume is falling to us now, or BB&T, but it’s one less player at a time that marine finance already has few players.”

Also this summer, Connecticut-based Customer One Financial quit retail marine lending, Parkhurst said, as well as Safeway Corp. of Indianapolis. Both were smaller service companies that did direct retail marine lending and made some loans through dealers.

Both were more regional lenders, with Customer One’s footprint being the East Coast and Safeway’s the Midwest, Parkhurst said.

In the last two years, the marine industry has seen a declining number of retail and wholesale lenders, with giants such as GE, Wachovia and KeyBank leaving the retail side and KeyBank and Textron pulling out of wholesale lending.

— Reagan Haynes


5 comments on “Marine lending tightens further

  1. Arch

    Provident has been out since late last year and they offered nothing that SunTrust and others didn’t already offer.  This will have no effect at all.
    Reagan, this is nothing against you personally, but I sure wish the authors of your articles would actually research front line people before you publish articles.  I’m constantly seeing outdated or erroneous information reported because your writers are going by the opinions of somebody who is not on the front lines, especially the PC people at NMMA.

  2. Jim

    I have been in marine lending for 30 years and have managed national service companies and bank programs that have produced several hundred million dollars in annual retail yacht loan volume. I can tell you from an approximate 20 year history with Provident Bank, that they will be missed. They lent using a more common sense approach than most other lenders do and were consistently able to think outside the “guideline” box. They also had some programs such as interest only, that others do not offer. I’ll especially miss the good people they had working for them!

  3. Michael Bryant

    I am not sure If the comments by Arch refer to that ff Don Parkhurst, who is one of the most knowledgeable person in the entire field of marine finance or others often quoted or the author himself. I myself have been in this field on a National basis for over twenty five years and regionally for another 10 years. Every lender that is in marine finance has something important to contribute to the benefit of originators and thus the consumer themselves. Marine lending, when done properly has proven to be an exceptional risk for lenders whether they be regional or national. I do not see anything in this article that is fictional on it’s face. I would only add that the decision to retreat from marine lending has more to do with the health of the bank as a result of other factors or like in the case of M&T they are a regional lender and do not wish to expand their footprint unlike Provident Bank. It is not an inditement of marine lending per say. 

  4. Don Parkhurst

    The article should have mentioned that M & T Bank continues to be a major retail marine lender in their regional footprint from New York down to Virginia.

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