Friday, April 29,2005
######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release”
May 1st ---Saratoga Art Show, West Valley College, California
Stan Beckman will be exhibiting both his originals and prints
Fort Lee NJ
Los Angeles, CA
Mill Valley, CA
New Jersey, NJ
New York, NY.
New York, NY
Senior Credit Officer experienced in middle-market leasing; structured, vendor and 3rd party to the fortune 1000. Proactive team builder, originations capable with strong work ethic. Email: email@example.com
Full listing of all 99 “Job Wanted ads at:
April 27, 2000 Archives—Menzel Speaks Out
Paul Menzel of Santa Barbara Bank and Trust, agrees with Mike Bennie's of Marlin Leasing assessment:
" Brokers should consider high quality, stable companies that have a strong track record when it comes to supporting the broker community. In choosing a funding source, choose one that is growing, even when other sources are pulling out of the broker marketplace. Ask your funding sources about their commitment to broker business, and get them to prove it."
Paul is kind enough to give us an "early edition" of his latest newsletter, coming out soon, he adds, germane to the topic:
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
Pick Your Funding Partners Carefully
“Over the last eight years, the Leasing Industry has enjoyed the strongest supply of capital it has ever seen. This is a result of the growth and acceptance of equipment backed securities, combined with the most robust economy in our history. We are experiencing a very fundamental lesson of supply & demand economics. The consumer, sharing the benefits with financial intermediaries, has reaped the rewards of a significant incremental increase in the supply of leasing capital.
“The consequences, and consumer benefits, of such an imbalance has caused funding sources to climb over each other to compete for assets. The increased competition has come in the form of relaxed credit standards and skinnier spreads. The unprecedented growth we have all enjoyed, however, does not come without risk.
“The recent spate of funding sources consolidating or exiting the leasing business is a disturbing manifestation of aggressive credit policies, driven by keen competition and fueled by a torrential flow of capital. The disturbing aspect of this phenomenon is that the deterioration of portfolio quality is occurring when business expansion and employment are at all-time highs.
“The next challenge to our industry will likely come from those capital markets that have been developed over the last decade.
“Unfortunately, the capital markets for equipment backed securities are extremely efficient, causing the supply to be very fickle and reactionary. Any fear of credit quality deterioration or economic contraction will quickly result in higher costs and scarcer funds to the Leasing Industry
“I am sincerely hopeful that this scenario does not play out, but we mustn't bury our heads in the sand. It is important for our Industry to recognize, appreciate, and support the responsible deployment of capital. Our success is dependent upon the fitness of our Industry's funding sources. Reasonable credit risk at reasonable rates is a responsibility we all share * or there won't be enough to share. “
Paul J. Menzel, CLP
Senior Vice President / General Manager
Leasing Division SANTA BARBARA BANK & TRUST
"What Lessors Are Saying About...The State of Funding"
The Equipment Leasing Association hosted its National Funding Exhibition earlier in April where more than 500 lessors convened to find capital for their leasing deals or to find deals in which to invest.
David Merrill, Senior Vice President, Fifth Third Leasing Company, was chairman of this year's conference, which he said was successful due to strong attendance, an improved layout of the exhibition floor and a more positive mood among attendees.
Merrill said, "The Funding Exhibition is one of the most productive meetings of ELA, in terms of transactions and deals being discussed."
ELT E-News contacted a number of conference attendees to follow up on the status of lease funding. We found that the ample availability of funds has created a complex environment for lessors in this market.
At AIG Commercial Equipment Finance, Inc., Dave Fate, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, said, "The absence of quality deals throughout the entire credit spectrum has compressed margins to the point where the risk does not match the rewards on the transactions that are available. The magnitude of funds available to be deployed in the revolving credit markets as well as the high yield unsecured markets with structures much more attractive than the typical loan or lease has made the funding environment for traditional lessors extremely difficult."
Fate's colleague at AIG, Joe Thompson, Senior Vice President, Capital Markets, said that in all parts of the capital markets, funds available for investment exceed deal flow, which have led to rate compression and weakening of credit discipline.
Thompson said, "Additionally, the search for viable investment opportunities has led many investors, particularly hedge funds, to attempt to invest in non-traditional or niche markets including primary and secondary market equipment finance transactions." He said that lastly, secondary market activity is heavily impacted by these factors, combined with the need of originators of paper to hold their investment instead of bringing deals to the secondary market.
Also at AIG, Mark Gibson, Vice President, Capital Markets, said, "Term loan facilities coupled with mezzanine and second lien facilities fueled by cash rich hedge funds are encroaching on traditional equipment financing, simply rolling the capex requirements into a large and long term facility, often with little or no amortization."
Fate summed up by saying, "Excessive liquidity in the market continues to pressure rates and margins, with risk /return ratios differing from traditional levels."
Merrill reiterated the volume of liquidity in the marketplace, calling it "more than ample," and resulting in compressed margins.
He anticipates a gradual improvement in deal flow. He said, "Capital spending has been slow, but we're getting into forced replacement of equipment as users are finding they can no longer put off replacing worn and outdated equipment."
Jeffry Elliott, Senior Vice President, Equipment Finance for Huntington Bank Equipment Finance, agrees that overall availability of funds is good and that competition for new deals is fierce.
He said, "In the small and middle ticket markets, lessors aren't writing as much business, due to a number of factors, including a low interest rate environment and bonus depreciation, which incent lessees to use lines of credit or retain ownership."
Elliott said that not only do lower interest rate levels hurt leasing deals, but he finds that until the rising rates get to a consistent higher level, people tend to avoid signing new deals.
In terms of the future of funding, Elliott doesn't have a sense of when the funding market will pick up. He noted that the technology and telecom segments, for instance, haven't come back to previous levels of activity and may not since there isn't as much growth in these sectors and the equipment costs continue to go down, thus volume may be permanently reduced.
He believes further consolidation will occur with funding sources exiting the small and middle markets, leaving more deals for lessors like Huntington Bank.
Claude Elmore, Director of Broker Marketing, NetBank Business Finance, believes the "too much money" phenomenon relates mostly to the larger, investment grade transactions and that lessors have looked to small ticket and lower middle market in order to diversify their business and to better serve their customers.
Elmore said, "As a funding source for third party originators, we at NetBank Business Finance see our market niche, good credits (not investment grade) in the lower mid-ticket range, doing very well as is our franchise lending in that range."
Lawrence Tardy, Vice President, M&I First National Leasing Corp., said that since his firm has been in the syndications market for a relatively short time, he can't offer a comparison of the level of market optimism.
He said, "In the time M&I has been actively pursuing this market, margins have definitely been squeezed, even since late last year. We are seeing a lot of opportunities, however."
Classified Ads---Help Wanted
Account Representatives & Sales Coaches
Equipment Leasing Marketing Specialist
Sales / Sales Representative
UAEL Scottsdale, Arizona Conference
United Association Spring Conference
“The theme, “1000+ year of experience, share it and learn from it” was certainly the case, as the conference was well attended and there was well over a thousand years of experience and that is not counting Joe Woodley nor Bill Grohe.
“Roger Dawson presented “The Secrets of Power Negotiating” to a full room. His presentation was not only informative but also very entertaining. In summary, we have had Mr. Dawson as a speaker in the past and would invite him back in the future. All the panels and eight of the nine roundtables were well attended.
“The Texas Hold ‘em was a success. The winner was Tal Kennedy from Kenco, and he walked away with a thousand dollars in cash. Paul Knowlton came in second and received two hundred and fifty dollars for an afternoon of fun. We attended an exciting Diamondback's game Saturday evening as the home team scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Those who attended were glad they did.
“2005 Officers: Terey Jennings, CLP, Financial Pacific Leasing, LLC, President; Attorney Victor Harris, vice-president and Chris Canavati, CLP of Lease Service Center, as secretary treasurer. Immediate past president Jim Coston, CLP, Coston & Rademacher, also serves on the executive board.
The 2005 UAEL Board of Directors consists of Neal Freeman, Heritage Pacific Leasing; Randy Haug, LeaseTeam, Inc.;Paul Knowlton, CLP, Bank of Walnut Creek; Evan Lang, Nationwide Funding, LLC; Ron Lear,PFF Bank & Trust; im Merrilees, CLP, Pacific Capital Bank; Tom Mulally Szabo, Spencer & Mulally; Brad Peterson, Manifest Funding Services; David Schaefer, CLP, Orion First Financial, LLC;
Rudy Trebels, CLP, IFC Credit Corp.; William "Skip" Wehner,BSB Leasing, Inc.
“Randy Haug of LeaseTeam, Inc.( firstname.lastname@example.org )is the fall conference chair. It will be held at Caesars Tahoe, Lake
Tahoe, Nevada, September 22-25, 2005.”
KeyCorp Implements Alogent's Corporate-Deposit Automation Tool
Bank Technology News
Alogent Corp. announced that KeyCorp has successfully implemented one of the company's Remote Deposit Automation for automation of corporate check deposits.
KeyCorp customers can capture images and data and transmit balanced deposits directly to the bank without leaving their businesses. Benefits of this remote capture solution include improved deposit preparation, fewer trips to the bank, extended deposit windows and the potential for better funds availability.
To date, KeyCorp customers have processed about 3,500 items on the system, according to Alogent. The solution includes Alogent's Sierra Xpedite Remote Deposit at remote business locations integrated with Sierra Xchange at KeyCorp processing centers for straight-through processing.
Streamline Sales Tax Report
from Dennis Brown, Equipment Leasing Association
The Coalition for Appropriate Sales Tax Law Enactment (CASTLE) is a Texas based organization managed by the Celero Group that is among those representing local governments at Streamlined Sales Tax meetings. Often what business views as change to modernize sales tax processes, the CASTLE organization envisions as infringement on the authority of local government.
Although business at times finds positions taken by CASTLE as barriers impeding advancement toward streamlining, local governments see the organization as among those fighting for their continued autonomy of pursuits regarding the business community. Presented below is the unedited report sent by CASTLE to local governments following the recent meeting in Washington, D.C. John Kroll has kindly made this report available for distribution. It provides a view of the process in the words of an organization representing local governments. Circulation of this report does not signify concurrence with the views expressed.
Full Report here:
BALBOA CAPITAL LAUNCHES ON-LINE LEASE PROCESSING SYSTEM
(Irvine, CA) Balboa Capital has launched Compass, the company's on-line lease application and processing system for channel partners across the United States. Using Compass, equipment vendors and brokers can submit applications, obtain credit decisions, view status, and download documents securely over the internet on a 24/7 basis.
Balboa launched Compass to provide partners with a complete user-centric lease management tool. By automating the application process and delivering it on-line, Balboa expects to provide faster, more efficient processing of transactions, better communication and greater customer service.
Says Balboa Capital CEO, Patrick Byrne, “We pride ourselves on developing and delivering innovative service solutions to our clients. Compass is designed to enhance all aspects of the user experience, resulting in greater interconnectivity and efficiency for our national network of partners.”
Partners can register with Balboa Capital and receive personal user credentials either over the phone or by filling out a web site form. Users log on to Compass at Balboa Capital's web site, wwww.balboacapital.com. All data is transmitted securely to a dedicated server. Once logged-in, users can enter applications, obtain credit decisions, receive status updates, generate and send documents, and track and report on-line. Compass also contains updates on Balboa Capital news, new programs, products, promotions, rates and tax information.
Compass was put into general release in April and is now being actively used company wide and by several of Balboa Capital's channels partners across the United States.
About Balboa Capital
Balboa Capital provides equipment leasing and financing to small and mid-sized business in the United States. The company markets its products through its direct sales force, vendor channel, and broker partnerships. The company offers leases in the range of $ 5,000 to $5,000,000. Balboa Capital is privately held and based in Irvine, CA.
Greater Bay Bancorp Reports Net Income of $21.5 Million for the First Quarter of 2005
“Operating expenses increased by $3.7 million during the first quarter of 2005 from the first quarter of 2004. The increase was largely attributable to an increase in legal and professional fees of $1.5 million and increased charge for depreciation on equipment leased to others of $1.5 million. Excluding severance-related expenses taken during the first quarter of 2005, total compensation expenses declined by $1.1 million compared to the first quarter of 2004. “
PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)----Greater Bay Bancorp (Nasdaq:GBBK), a $7.0 billion in assets financial services holding company, today announced results for the first quarter of 2005.
For the first quarter of 2005, Greater Bay Bancorp's net income was $21.5 million, or $0.34 per diluted share, compared to $24.9 million, or $0.42 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2004, and $21.1 million, or $0.33 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2004. For the first quarter of 2005, the Company's return on average common equity was 13.03% and its return on average assets was 1.26% as compared to a return on average common equity of 14.82% and a return on average assets of 1.32% for the first quarter of 2004 and a return on average common equity of 12.69% and a return on average assets of 1.18% for the fourth quarter of 2004.
Mr. Scordelis commented, "While balance sheet changes remain modest, the underlying shift in loan mix is both consistent with our stated focus and with the quality-oriented opportunities being afforded by our regional markets. Our core deposit results reflect the continued cyclical volatility of large title company, venture fund, and other specialty deposits. We continue to focus on pricing disciplines on both sides of our balance sheet to optimize the mix of yield and growth."
Full press release at:
Pacific Capital Bancorp Reports 39% Increase in
SANTA BARBARA, Calif.------Pacific Capital Bancorp (Nasdaq:PCBC):
-- Earnings per share of $1.29, compared with $0.93 in Q1 2004
Pacific Capital Bancorp (Nasdaq:PCBC), a community bank holding company with $6.2 billion in assets, announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2005.
Net income for the first quarter was $59.4 million, a 39% increase from $42.6 million in net income reported for the first quarter of 2004. Earnings per share for the first quarter of 2005 were $1.29, also a 39% increase from earnings per share of $0.93 reported for the first quarter of 2004.
Pacific Capital Bancorp's return on average equity (ROE) and return on average assets (ROA) for the first quarter of 2005 were 50.78% and 3.69%, respectively, compared to 42.15% and 3.09%, respectively, for the first quarter of 2004. Excluding the impact of the Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL) and Refund Transfer (RT) programs, the Company's ROE and ROA for the first quarter of 2005 were 25.39% and 1.56%, respectively, compared to 21.89% and 1.54%, respectively, for the first quarter of 2004.
"Our significant year-over-year EPS growth reflects strong performances by both the core bank and our seasonal RAL/RT business," said William S. Thomas, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Capital Bancorp. "Consumer demand for RALs and RTs remains very healthy, which helped drive a 58% increase in our pre-tax income from these programs during the first quarter. However, the expected shift of a larger portion of our RAL/RT income into the second quarter did not occur. As a result, we believe the first quarter will contain all of the RAL/RT income that we will recognize for 2005.
"Within the core bank operations, we saw a continuation of the key trends that drove our strong performance in 2004 -- solid loan growth and excellent asset quality. Excluding short-term holiday loans and RALs, our core loan portfolio increased at an annualized rate of 13.5% during the first quarter, while our non-performing assets remained well within our targeted levels. In addition, we saw a solid increase in our core non-interest income, driven by growth in our Trust division and more customers utilizing the debit card features on their checking accounts," said Thomas.
"We are taking a number of steps to extend our franchise and gain exposure to larger numbers of commercial and retail customers that fall within our targeted demographics. These include opening our third branch in the Salinas area, expanding the sales territory for our Commercial Banking Group to include the adjacent markets of the San Fernando Valley and San Jose, and increasing our presence in the San Luis Obispo market with our acquisition of First Bancshares, Inc. Collectively, we believe these efforts will positively impact our ability to maintain strong rates of loan, deposit and non-interest income growth in the future and achieve our long-term goal of 12% EPS growth per year," said Thomas.
Full Press Release at:
ORIX Announces Net Income Up 69% in the Year Ended March 31, 2005
TOKYO-----ORIX Corporation (TOKYO:8591); (NYSE:IX), a leading integrated financial services group, announced that revenues for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2005 increased 21% year on year to 916,950 million yen, income before income taxes(1) rose 51% to 154,347 million yen, and net income grew 69% to 91,496 million yen.
Revenues from "direct financing leases," "operating leases," "interest on loans and investment securities," "brokerage commissions and net gains on investment securities," "life insurance premiums and related investment income," "real estate sales" and "other operating revenues" were up compared to the previous fiscal year. On the other hand, expenses for "interest expense," "provision for doubtful receivables and probable loan losses," "write-downs of long-lived assets" and "write-downs of securities" were down year on year. Furthermore, "equity in net income of affiliates" and "gains on sales of affiliates" contributed to the large increase in earnings.
Full Press release at:
Citing a 30% growth in Hispanic Owned U.S. Firms, Leasing Partners Capital Inc. expands to meet challenge.
WAYNE, NJ., – Jaime Granda has been named Market Development Manager at the firms South Florida location. Granda, a business school graduate of the University of Lima, Peru, has over 15 years experience in finance and sales positions with fortune 500 corporations, leadership positions with global corporations in the export/import business and management of commodities trading. Granda will lead the firms marketing and sales strategies targeted at Hispanic owned and operated businesses across the United States.
“I'm pleased to have the opportunity to put my many years of experience to work in expanding the market for Leasing Partners Capital Inc. products and services to a growing base of companies, many of which are in my backyard” says Granda.
“According to US Economic Census data, almost 15% of all Florida business enterprises are owned by Hispanics, with over 120,000 firms in Dade County alone. With Jaime leading the charge we now have two professionals that are uniquely skilled to meet the demands of this critical market segment from a financial and cultural perspective” says Duane E. Rouba, managing partner at Leasing Partners Capital's Northern New Jersey Headquarters.
About Leasing Partners Capital Inc.
Leasing Partners Capital Inc. is a leading equipment and technology leasing company based in Northern New Jersey. The company operates 21 field offices throughout the United States.
Leasing Partners Capital has been offering financial and operating lease products to businesses and vendors in the Commercial, and Government Market sectors for more than 20 years.
The firm is known as a leader in the vendor leasing program arena as a result of excellent marketing execution, outstanding responsiveness and client service levels.
JAY ZWERLING JOINS HAHN & HESSEN LLP AS PARTNER
Firm Continues to Grow Equipment Leasing Practice
New York, New York - Hahn & Hessen LLP announced today that Jay Zwerling has been named a partner in the Firm and Co-head of its Equipment Finance Practice Group, as of April 18, 2005. Mr. Zwerling was most recently a Director of Global Capital Finance Americas LLC.
"Jay's experience in the finance and related securities industries as well as his representation of lenders in nearly every type of financing transaction, give him a unique perspective. He will play an important role in continuing the Firm's work in complex lease financing transactions, both domestically and on behalf of international clients," said Steven J. Seif, Managing Partner of Hahn & Hessen.
Jay structures, negotiates and documents equipment finance transactions on behalf of commercial banks, finance and equipment leasing companies. He also advises equity and credit providers in connection with equipment lease transactions and single lender/single borrower equipment-based transactions and multi-lender/multi-borrower equipment based transactions. He has broad experience representing lenders, lessors and investors in large ticket and middle market equipment leasing transactions; commercial and corporate aircraft, rolling stock and all other type of transportation related assets and equipment backed acquisitions and dispositions; portfolio acquisitions and dispositions; and secured and unsecured syndicated credit facilities.
Prior to joining Hahn & Hessen, Jay was a Director of Global Capital Finance Americas LLC. He has also been an Associate Director of Macquarie Securities (USA) Inc., and an Associate in the Transportation and Equipment Finance Practice Group of the law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.
Jay graduated from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, magna cum laude, in 1995, and received his Bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Albany in 1989. He is a member of the Equipment Leasing Association as well as the New York State and American Bar Associations.
About Hahn & Hessen
Founded in 1931, Hahn & Hessen LLP (www.hahnhessen.com) delivers sophisticated financial and commercial legal services. Many of the firm's clients are major financial institutions. It has received substantial recognition for its unique capabilities in those situations where the creditworthiness of a client's existing or potential borrower, counterparty or customer is of concern. Among the Firm's core practice areas are: insolvency and restructurings; commercial finance transactions, including working capital and acquisition lines of credit, asset based lending, structured finance, equipment leasing and finance, aviation finance, repurchase and derivatives transactions; mergers, acquisitions, securities offerings and IPOs; tax; litigation and arbitration; the purchase, lease, financing and disposition of real estate; and trusts and estates.
Alta Group Expands Expertise and Influence to China
Daye International Leasing Co., Ltd. (“Daye Leasing”), a joint venture leasing company in Beijing, has signed a co-operation agreement with The Alta Group and become its Associate for the China Region. The Alta Group, an international consultancy serving the equipment leasing and finance industry, covers Europe, North America, Latin America and the Middle East as well as Asia Pacific.
Pictured in front are Don Chan, General Manager, Daye International Leasing Co. and Derek Soper, Principal, The Alta Group. Behind are Hu Jie, Marketing Director; Hu Lingjie, Sales Director; Zhu Yongchun, Deputy General Manager; Li Xingping, Structured Finance Director (The Lady).
Daye Leasing is jointly owned by Canada International Investments Limited and Zhejiang Yunsheng Investments Group Co., Ltd, a port operating company in Shanghai. Its General Manager, Don Chan, previously the CFO of AT&T Capital for the Asia Pacific Region and General Manager of the AT&T Capital joint venture in Beijing, said: “We are delighted with the arrangements between The Alta Group and Daye Leasing as they will extend the range of expertise available to our Chinese customers as well as giving The Alta Group additional product offerings in the Region.”
Daye Leasing was the former GE Capital joint venture leasing company which was sold following GE Capital receiving a 100% owned leasing license. Daye Leasing offers a leasing platform to new entrants who may wish to take a cautious approach to entry into the China market. Derek Soper, a Principal in The Alta Group's European region, said: “We have been seeking to extend our consultancy business into the Asia Pacific Region and into China in particular. We are confident that our relationship with Daye Leasing will bring benefits to both companies and in particular to our clients.”
Soper added: “The China market is exciting great interest amongst vendors of all types of equipment and the emerging equipment leasing market is setting out its stall to serve those vendors. Additionally, the major Chinese manufacturers of equipment, now selling into the rest of the world, will need support for sales financing. These are all our customers and potential customers.”
Pictured in front are Don Chan, General Manager, Daye International Leasing Co. and Derek Soper, Principal, The Alta Group. Behind are Hu Jie, Marketing Director; Hu Lingjie, Sales Director; Zhu Yongchun, Deputy General Manager; Li Xingping, Structured Finance Director (The Lady).
ABOUT THE ALTA GROUP
The Alta Group, established in 1992, provides a broad array of strategic consulting and advisory services, education and training programmes, merger and acquisition and dispute resolution services for companies in the global equipment leasing and asset finance industries. Its clients include manufacturers, banks, and independent lessors of various sizes and others in the industry. The Alta team is made up of more than 25 seasoned international professionals committed to the asset finance business, including former CEOs, company founders and industry thought leaders. They collaborate and share their in-depth knowledge and insights with today's business leaders who face a range of challenges, both old and new. The firm has built a reputation on creative thinking, trust and professionalism. The Alta Group supports clients in North America, Latin America, Western, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia. For more information, visit
MicroFinancial 1Q Net Loss $2.7 million/last year $4.7MM
WOBURN, Mass., -- MicroFinancial Incorporated (NYSE-MFI) a financial intermediary specializing in vendor based leasing and finance programs for transactions in the $500 to $15,000 range, today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2005.
The net loss for the quarter was $2.7 million, or $0.20 per share, compared to a loss of $4.7 million, or $0.36 per share, in the first quarter of 2004.
Revenue in the first quarter of 2005 was $10.9 million compared to $18.0 million in the first quarter of 2004. Revenue from leases and loans was $1.5 million, rental income was $6.4 million, and other revenue components contributed $3.0 million for the quarter.
Total operating expenses for the quarter declined 42.5% to $14.8 million from $25.8 million in the first quarter of 2004, driven by ongoing cost rationalization initiatives implemented in the past several quarters. Interest expense was $0.2 million, a result of lower debt balances. Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased $1.0 million to $6.3 million from $7.3 million in the first quarter of last year, reflecting a continued reduction in personnel-related expenses.
Depreciation and amortization expense declined 42.2% to $2.5 million for the quarter, reflecting the decline in the number of rental and service contracts from the first quarter of 2004. The first quarter provision for credit losses decreased to $5.8 million from $13.4 million in the first quarter of 2004, while net charge offs decreased to $10.1 million versus $19.6 million.
Richard Latour, President and Chief Executive Officer said, "As part of our plan to rebuild the origination business of our subsidiary, TimePayment Corporation, we are actively increasing our industry presence with more focused and targeted sales and marketing. We continue to invest capital to build the infrastructure to support these plans, and have brought in new leadership to spearhead the effort. In order to add new vendor relationships and provide new revenue sources to drive our growth, we are attending multiple trade shows, increasing advertising in trade publications, and developing new sales and marketing materials."
As part of this new business development effort, in the first quarter of 2005, the Company approved 67 new vendors to bring the total number approved since July 1, 2004 to 105. During the first quarter, the Company sourced from this core group of vendors approximately 500 applications which resulted in $1.1 million in new originations. In addition, more than 70% of the applications were processed utilizing the Company's proprietary internet based credit approval system.
Recent company initiatives include:
-- Bolstering the sales and marketing infrastructure to support the launch of new originations in 2005, including the appointment of Tom Herlihy to Vice President of Sales & Marketing.
-- Reinstating a dividend policy and approval of a dividend payment of $0.05 per share payable on May 13, 2005. The dividend policy will be reviewed by the board on a quarterly basis.
Sequentially, amounts greater than 31 days delinquent on March 31, 2005 decreased to $23.6 million from $33.3 million on December 31, 2004. Cash received from customers for the quarter was $16.1 million compared to $25.2 million during the same period in 2004. Sequentially, cash and cash equivalents improved to $18.0 million at March 31, 2005, compared to $9.7 million at December 31, 2004.
Full press release here:
AmSouth Small Business Internet Ranked No.2 of 20 Top Banks
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--(BUSINESS WIRE)----AmSouth Bank's (NYSE:ASO) web-based small business online banking offerings rank number two among 20 top U.S. banks, according to small business online customer research released recently by New York-based Change Sciences Group. The ranking is for the quality of AmSouth's online customer experience and ease of starting a relationship. The research Q1- 2005 compares the online tasks most often conducted by small businesses on their banks' websites and identifies how banks can improve their sites to make it easier for small businesses.
"Acquiring small business customers online means showing your prospects that you understand them, and it requires bank websites to make getting to the small business area of your site easy," said Steve Ellis, a Change Sciences partner. "Once you get them to that part of your site, making it easy to compare available products that meet their needs, providing tools to easily switch their accounts to your bank, and providing simple applications for service are paramount."
Change Sciences defines the three most important elements of a good online customer experience as low effort, low friction and high delight. The research highlights how processes are experienced by customers thought by thought and keystroke by keystroke making the more streamlined and simplified processes the most satisfying.
"Small business is one of AmSouth's key customer segments, and serving the small business customer well requires online services that are easy to understand, easy to use, and that save the customer time and money," said Greg Miles, senior vice president and manager of electronic banking. "It's nice to be recognized for something we have been committed to for some time and something that our customers tell us regularly is a valuable tool for their success."
Miles says the bank took web hosting and development in-house two years ago to improve quality and the ability to update the site more efficiently. Small business customers can easily open accounts, transfer funds, pay bills, apply for loans and much more.
AmSouth's site provides small business customers access to a library of small business information and publications, a monthly online newsletter from the bank, and template forms for activities from hiring or termination to frequently used IRS tax forms. AmSouth's web-based banking also offers electronic statements for both personal and small business accounts, a service recognized as a deterrent to identity theft.
"The web is an important alternative channel for customers to access AmSouth," said Miles. "Our experience mirrors that of the industry in that customers who regularly use internet banking are more likely to bring us more of their business and to stay with us longer. Although it's unlikely to replace branches, it is certainly a channel of choice for our customers."
Small businesses are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. economy with more than 25 million of them posting revenues of up to $10 million or more. The even larger universe of small businesses operating from entrepreneurs' homes and shared office space have increasingly turned to the web for everything from purchasing supplies and shipping products to banking and other financial services. Online bill payment is among one of the most important tools small businesses depend on from their bank and the research indicates that more than two-thirds of banks surveyed could make this service easier to understand.
AmSouth is a regional bank holding company with $50 billion in assets, more than 685 branch banking offices and 1,240 ATMs. AmSouth operates in Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia. AmSouth is a leader among regional banks in the Southeast in several key business segments, including consumer and commercial banking, small business banking, mortgage lending, equipment leasing, annuity and mutual fund sales, and trust and investment management services. AmSouth also offers a complete line of banking products and services at its web site, www.amsouth.com.
AmSouth, Birmingham Jerri Franz, 904-281-7675 or David Webster, 205-581-7494 or Mary Catherine Coats, 205-801-0443
TCF Shareholders Approve Proposals at Annual Meeting
WAYZATA, Minn.-----TCF Financial Corporation (TCF) (NYSE:TCB) announced that at it's annual meeting the shareholders elected five directors, re-approved the directors stock program for ten more years, and voted in favor of the appointment of KPMG LLP as independent registered public accountants for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2005.
TCF is a Wayzata, Minnesota-based national financial holding company with $12.7 billion in assets. TCF has 430 banking offices in Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado and Indiana. Other TCF affiliates provide leasing and equipment finance, securities brokerage, and investments and insurance sales.
TCF Financial Corporation, Wayzata Jason Korstange, 952-745-2755 www.TCFExpress.com
Synovus Reports 12.1% Increase in Net Income for First Quarter 2005; TSYS' Growth Exceeds Expectations with Largest Quarterly Increase in Five Years; Financial Services Segment's Fundamental Growth
COLUMBUS, Ga.----Synovus' first quarter earnings grew 12.1% over the first quarter 2004 to $116.7 million, which represented earnings per share growth of 9.6% to $.37 per share, Synovus' Chief Executive Officer James H. Blanchard announced today.
"We started 2005 with both the Synovus Financial Services segment and TSYS providing the key drivers for an impressive first quarter," said Blanchard. "Excellent credit quality, strong loan growth and a stable margin drove the earnings momentum in the quarter for the Financial Services segment. TSYS' performance exceeded expectations with a great start toward another record year."
Return on assets for the quarter was 1.86% and return on equity was 17.52% for the first quarter 2005, compared to 1.91% and 18.00%, respectively, in the same period last year. Shareholders' equity at March 31, 2005, was $2.70 billion, which represented a very strong 10.44% of quarter-end assets. Total assets ended the quarter at $25.9 billion, an increase of 16.0% from the same period last year.
Asset quality continued the excellent trend that began last year. The net charge-off ratio was 0.23% compared to 0.27% last quarter and 0.16% for the first quarter of last year. The ratio of nonperforming assets to loans and other real estate was 0.52%, the same as last quarter, and down from 0.56% in the first quarter last year. The allowance for loan losses was 1.36% of loans, which provides coverage of 354% of nonperforming loans and the provision for loan losses covered net charge-offs by 1.71x for the quarter.
Net interest income grew 11.9% over last year as total loans grew 17.9% (15.8% excluding acquisitions). The net interest margin before fees was 3.98%, the same as last quarter, and up from 3.91% in the first quarter of last year. The net interest margin after fees for the first quarter was 4.11% down from 4.24% in the same period last year. This decrease was primarily due to the change in methodology for loan origination fees and costs that was implemented in the fourth quarter of last year.
Net income for the Synovus Financial Services segment increased 2.1% over last year. In the first quarter last year, Synovus recorded an after-tax gain of $9.7 million from the sale of banking operations in Quincy, Florida. Excluding this gain, Financial Services segment's fundamental net income growth was 16.6% compared to the same period last year. Return on assets for the quarter was 1.33% and return on equity was 16.19%, compared to 1.49% and 18.18%, respectively, in the same period last year. These comparisons are also affected by the previously mentioned gain from last year. Financial Services' non-interest income was down 17.6% as compared to last year. Excluding last year's $15.8 million pre-tax gain from the aforementioned bank sale, Financial Services non-interest income would have been essentially flat with increases in credit card fees of 27%, brokerage revenue of 9%, and fiduciary and asset management fees - which include trust, financial planning and asset management fees - of 3%. Mortgage banking revenue was down 14% and service charges on deposit accounts were down 5% compared to the first quarter last year. Financial Services' non-interest expense was up 1.2% compared to last year and the efficiency ratio was 52.2% versus 52.9% last year.
Full Press Release at:
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