NMBA: lending potential could be high after recovery

Published online: May 01, 2009 News

The National Marine Bankers Association published a white paper outlining the opportunities for lenders once the industry recovers from the downturn.

Produced in conjunction with the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the white paper reports that the upside potential for banks and other credit providers may be higher than previous recoveries, since many lenders were forced out of the market as a result of the credit collapse.

"Today's recreational marine lending landscape is rich with opportunities," stated Bill Thompson, with Cardinal Points Network, who drafted the white paper on behalf of the NMBA. "Due to recent fluctuations in the credit and capital markets, demand is greater than supply for retail and commercial floorplan lenders. As a result, interest rate spreads have increased, and the profit potential is improving."

Findings in the white paper include:

  • Subprime activity was minimal in boat financing, and delinquency rates were lower than other consumer credit categories, averaging 1.1 compared to 1.8, respectively, in 2007.
  • Boat buyers are mostly middle class. Three out of four have a household income of $100,000 and less, and present healthy lending opportunities for banks.
  • The recreational boating industry has experienced consistent economic cycles since the 1970s, allowing for some predictability for lenders when seeking future growth opportunities.
  • Recent fluctuations in the credit market demonstrate that, despite economic downturns, sound lending practices in the recreational marine industry have historically provided solid returns over time.

The white paper can be found at www.marinebankers.org in addition to a webinar - Finding New Funding Sources and Building Lender Relationships - that helps marine manufacturers and dealers navigate the lending landscape.

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