Magazine article American Banker

Huntington Sticks to Its Midsize Niche

Magazine article American Banker

Huntington Sticks to Its Midsize Niche

Article excerpt

While the titans of bank loan syndications jostle for share of a nearly $1 trillion market, the syndication function at Huntington Bancshares plays a far more modest role.

With over $25 billion of total assets and operations in 12 states, Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington does not have the scope or size of the global and superregional banks that dominate syndication league tables. But the corporate loan business is still vital to Huntington.

"I am part of the account officer's overall customer relationship plan," said T. Frederic May, vice president in commercial services at Huntington and head of the four-person syndication group there. "They manage the overall relationship and I am there to serve them, essentially sharing their loan structure with other regional banks with a similar philosophy."

Lending activity at Huntington is somewhat weighted toward the bank's retail operations, with consumer loans at $7.9 billion, and commercial loans at $5.3 billion, as of Sept. 30, 1996.

"They're very much known for their consumer banking expertise, but middle-market and small-business banking is an important part of their business mix as well," said Joseph C. Duwan, an analyst with Keefe Bruyette & Woods, New York.

Indeed, Huntington's commercial lending is directed toward middle-market companies that are often privately held and typically too small to have corporate credit ratings. Most of the bank's business loans are between $50 million and $200 million in size, Mr. May said.

Before establishing a dedicated syndications team in 1995, Huntington handled syndications, also known as loan participations, through the loan officer responsible for a given credit. …

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