Citizens Bank opts out of marine lending business

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Citizens Bank is exiting its specialized lending broker business, including boats and RVs.

“As part of a continuing strategic review of our business lines, it has been determined that this is the appropriate direction for us at this time,” said Brad Conner, vice chairman of consumer finance, in a letter dated today to specialized brokers.

“Current economic conditions require that we react to a rapidly changing and competitive landscape,” he added.

Effective Thursday, Citizens Bank will no longer accept applications from brokers. All applications approved prior to this date will need to be submitted for funding no later than Oct. 21.

Citizens will continue to service existing customers through its customer service and portfolio management units, Conner wrote.

The news comes on the heels of Wachovia Dealer Service’s recent announcement that it was pulling out of the RV and marine financing business and would stop accepting marine applications after Aug. 15. Wachovia officials cited the current economic cycles and the industry outlook for the near future as reasons for the “difficult decision” to exit the broker and indirect dealer financial channels.

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