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Huntington Grows RV, Marine Portfolio 32% Following State Expansion

@Can Stock / naumoid

Huntington Bancshares Inc. grew its RV and marine finance portfolio 32% year-over-year to $2.4 billion in 2017, reflecting the expansion of the acquired FirstMerit Corp. business into 17 new states over the past year, the bank reported during fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday.

“Note that the fourth quarter is seasonally the weakest for loan production in this business, but this quarter’s production exceeded the business plan and we remain optimistic for growth in 2018,” Mac McCullough, Huntington’s chief financial officer, said on the earnings call, adding that he expects seasonality in the first quarter will impact growth in the short-term.

“There will be some seasonality to certain of those products — mortgage and RV/marine — but, by the second quarter, those should be performing well,” he said.

Meanwhile, losses for the RV and marine portfolio remained stable. Net charges stayed at $2 million in the fourth quarter as compared to the same period a year prior, while accruing loans and leases 90 days or more past due remained at $1 million.

Huntington Bank and FirstMerit Corp. signed a merger agreement in January 2016 under which Huntington acquired Ohio-based FirstMerit in a $3.4 billion transaction.

“When we announced the transformational FirstMerit acquisition two years ago, we expected it would help drive material improvement in our profitability, accelerating the achievement of our long-term financial goals,” Huntington’s Chief Executive Steve Steinour said in an earnings release. “With the FirstMerit integration complete, our fourth quarter results illustrate the performance improvements realized over the past two years.”

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