Bank of the West exits auto to focus on marine, RV finance

Bank of the West has set forward plans to shutter its indirect auto business and focus on marine and RV lending, sources told Auto Finance News, the sister publication of Powersports Finance.

“We remain committed to the RV and marine industries,” Executive Vice President of Personal Finance Michael Pereira told PSF. “Bank of the West is proud of our long history as a top-tier lender in the RV and marine industry where we have a strong national presence. We have been in this market for more than 25 years and have meaningful dealer and customer relationships, many of whom are commercial clients, as well.”

The San Francisco-based bank has an RV and marine portfolio that exceeds $9 billion, Pereira told PSF in February 2018. While Bank of the West does not currently offer financing options for motorcycles or ATVs, the bank is looking at the market on an “ongoing basis” for product expansion, Pereria said at the time.

Bank of the West’s auto portfolio has been declining the past two years, according to data from Auto Finance Big Wheels. Outstandings dropped 6.7% to $4.1 billion at yearend 2018, on the heels of a 19% decline in 2017.

“Bank of the West is exiting the indirect auto business effective November 2019,” a bank spokesperson confirmed in an email to Auto Finance News. “The Personal Finance team will refocus its resources on its RV/marine loan business.”

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