Trade Only Today and this is clearly a bad sign of not only the state
of the industry, but also very likely a bad sign of things to come.
Key Bank, 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."
Key Bank 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.