Is Citi Geared Up to Fill the Void?

canstockphoto39870228With Capital One Financial Corp. exiting the powersports industry — allowing its revolving credit arrangements with OEM partners to gradually expire through the first quarter of 2017 — industry leaders are speculating which lender will fill the void.

As of September, no lender had thrown its proverbial hat into the ring. It seems Citigroup Inc., however, may be in the strongest position to enter the space.

A major lender appears to be “on the verge of announcing” that it will begin offering the revolving credit product, said Seth Woolf, research analyst at Northcoast Research Partners. “Citi has been quietly assembling the talent and building the infrastructure needed to operate a nationwide consumer credit platform for the powersports market,” he said.

Citi might have already begun the dealer on-boarding process, which could mean that a revolving product is “in the final innings of its buildout,” he said. A “full-scale dealer rollout” could happen as early as the end of the third quarter, Woolf added.

Citi declined comment for this story.

The bank’s potential entrance into powersports was reinforced by its online job board, which in August included four listings for field sales representative positions — specifically for powersports dealers. The job listings stated that candidates would work with Citi Retail Services — Citigroup’s subsidiary that provides private-label and co-branded credit cards — to develop and manage dealer relationships, and to “execute action plans at district and store levels with focus on integrating credit into dealer culture, driving increased credit sales, penetration, and new application performance,” according to the listings.

The field sales representatives are also asked to “attend dealer meetings and represent Citi at conferences, tradeshows, and other industry events,” the company wrote. Job requirements include experience in credit card or credit sales, private-label credit card sales or servicing experience, preferred experience in a dealer environment, and preferred experience in the powersports industry.

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