A new review of marine lending by the National Marine Bankers Association makes a realistic assessment of the recession's impact on the boating and finance markets, but also points out that a large percentage of Americans continue to embrace the lifestyle.
"We are starting to see a slight opening in the availability of consumer credit and want to position marine lending as a primary place for funds to flow," said NMBA president Karen Trostle, of Sterling Acceptance Corp., in a statement.
"This new review is designed for lenders to take to boardrooms to help get recreational boating consumer and inventory loans in their strategic plans," she added. "It can also be shared with community and other bankers to remind them of the opportunity to attract high-quality borrowers and assist local small businesses."
Through the report titled, "A Fresh Look at Marine Lending," the NMBA plans to deliver the updated information to current and prospective lenders and is asking the industry to help spread the word.
One goal is to set up roundtable discussions to bring together local or regional lenders with marine business representatives to underscore industry needs and how lenders can address and profit from them. Marine trade associations and major manufacturers are being encouraged to host events where the NMBA will produce the program to have lender-to-lender dialogue.
Guided by the NMBA marketing committee headed by Peggy Bodenreider, the industry update was written by consultant and columnist Greg Proteau.
"Our first distribution will be during the American Boating Congress in Washington to underscore the lending needs of the industry to lawmakers and finance agency personnel," Bodenreider said. "From there, it will be made available to lenders attending the Consumer Banker Association's Retail Credit Convention in Fort Lauderdale."