Huntington Bancshares is the holding company for The Huntington National Bank, which operates about 650 branches in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The bank offers retail and commercial banking, mortgage banking, credit cards, equipment leasing, brokerage services, wealth and investment management, trust and estate services, and personal and business insurance. The company's automobile finance business provides car loans to consumers, and real estate and inventory finance to car dealerships throughout the Midwest and Northeast.
With the economy in the Midwest wracked by the recession, Huntington posted losses in 2008 and 2009 -- more than $3 billion in the latter year alone -- mainly attributable to credit losses due to nonperforming assets and the write down of goodwill related to past acquisitions. It returned to profitability in 2010, thanks in part to higher interest margins as a result of the company's focus on lower-cost customer checking accounts.
The company continued its momentum into 2011 when its earnings grew again; it reported growth in its brokerage and trust segments in addition to fewer changed-off loans and provisions for credit losses. The bank's commercial and industrial loan volume began to pick up in 2010, while residential mortgage and home equity loans increased during 2011.
Meanwhile, Huntington's automobile loan portfolio more than doubled in 2010 and the company extended the business into eastern Pennsylvania and most of New England during the year. The company has said it will continue to pursue expansion beyond its traditional Midwest base.
To prepare for further growth, Huntington is getting back to basics. Its retail strategy is centered around simple financial products, customer service, and convenience. The bank offers extended hours at many locations and has an agreement with Giant Eagle to install up to 100 new branches inside the grocer's stores in Ohio. The company is also courting large corporate clients and looking to grow its fee-based activities such as treasury management, foreign exchange, and capital markets services. The company's equipment finance business expanded into business aviation, rail, and lender/lessor financing.
After acquiring two banks in FDIC-assisted transactions in 2009, the company bought the assets of failed Fidelity Bank of Dearborn, Michigan, in 2012. The latest deal added some 15 branches to Huntington's banking network. – less