NMBA survey points to growth in 2Q

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The National Marine Bankers Association's first-quarter members' survey reported that 80 percent of respondents expect the second quarter of 2012 to be up from the same period of last year.

The survey also shows that 100 percent of respondents believe lending criteria are the same or less stringent than during the prior quarter. This is good news, the association noted, because 22 percent of respondents in the third quarter of 2011 and 11 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 said credit standards were more stringent than during the prior period.

All responding lenders indicated, for the second consecutive quarter, that the credit quality of borrowers was the same or better than during the previous quarter.

The NMBA introduced the survey last year to gauge changes in the lending environment and identify trends that could be used for business planning. Thirty-five percent of the NMBA lender members responded to the first-quarter 2012 survey, with the majority having a national presence.

Respondents largely reported that business was up in four of the last five quarters, with the exception being the third quarter of 2011, and 80 percent reported increased bookings in the first quarter of 2012 from the same period in 2011.

Used-boat sales make up the majority of new loans for NMBA members; 58 percent of the lenders indicated that loans on new boats accounted for 25 percent or less of their bookings in the first quarter.

Refinance activity picked up, as 36 percent of the lenders surveyed indicated that this business represented 26 to 50 percent of their loan bookings. For all quarters in 2011 an average of 80 percent of the lenders reported that it accounted for 25 percent or less of their volume.

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