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KeyBank pulling out of marine lending

KeyBank, one of the largest marine lenders in the country, announced today that it is pulling out of the marine lending business and ending recreational lending altogether.

Grant Skeens, president and CEO of Key Recreation Lending, confirmed that the bank is pulling out of the marine and RV retail and commercial lending business, ending its 50 years in recreational lending. The announcement was made to employees at 10:30 (EDT) today.

The last day marine retail applications will be taken is Oct. 27, and the last day for funding applications will be Nov. 14, Skeens told Trade Only Today this morning. The bank will work to transition its dealers to other sources of floorplan funding over the next 90 to 120 days, he said.

Skeens said the decision was "very difficult."

"Certainly if you look at the prospects for the [marine] industry over the next 12 to 18 months, they aren't very rosy," Skeens said. "I would tell you margins in retail continue to be thin for lenders."

KeyBank is one of several lenders to recently pull out of marine lending. This summer, Citizens Bank and Wachovia pulled out of marine finance altogether, and GE Money quit retail marine lending.

Click here for the release from Key Bank.

— Reagan Haynes

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