Profits fell double digits at Santander Consumer USA Holdings in Dallas in connection with its exit from the personal loan business and other nagging issues.
The $37.9 billion-asset lender reported first-quarter profits of $200.6 million, or 19% lower than a year earlier. Earnings per share were 56 cents, missing an estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg by one penny.
Lower fee-based income sunk profits. Noninterest revenue plunged 51% to $72.7 million. The company – a unit of the Spanish banking giant Banco Santander – attributed the decline to accounting adjustments stemming from defaults in its personal loan portfolio.
Santander said last fall that it was exiting its personal loan business. During the first quarter the company sold $869.3 million in personal loans; an additional $1.3 million remain on the company’s books, classified as held for sale.
The provision for credit losses climbed 5% to $706.6 million, but that figure was lower than the previous quarter’s provision of $902.5 million. The chargeoff ratio was 8.2% compared with 6.1% a year earlier.
Higher expenses also hurt profits. Operating costs rose 26% to $309.8 million, mostly from investments in the its managed assets portfolio, the company said.
Meanwhile, net finance and interest income increased 10% to $1.2 billion.
Santander last month restated earnings going back to 2013, following an inquiry from securities regulators about the way it calculates its set-aside for bad loans.
Total originations dipped 8% to $6.8 billion as the company said it scaled back its presence in the subprime auto market.