Auto ABS Officials Question Regulation
Auto asset-backed securities officials are warning that recent regulation targeting loan-level data disclosure may not be appropriate for their asset class, delegates heard at the ABS East conference in Miami.
-- Daniel O’Leary
Auto asset-backed securities officials are warning that recent regulation targeting loan-level data disclosure may not be appropriate for their asset class, delegates heard at the ABS East conference in Miami. Loan-level data on floorplan ABS, especially, could infringe on privacy and competitive protection rules, conference delegates said at Monday’s “Funding Challenges Facing Automakers and the Future of Auto ABS” panel.
“Floorplan in particular, if you put loan data that would show the financial state of captive finance subsidiaries, that would be kind of troublesome,” noted Stuart Litwin, partner and co-head of securitization at Mayer Brown. “I mean the biggest manufacturer in North Dakota is pretty obvious to everybody, imagine if their loan-level data was out there.” But Litwin believed it is unlikely the Securities and Exchange Commission will force loan-level data disclosure on floorplan auto ABS when it finalizes its implementation of reg AB.
The SEC issued plans to revise the offering, disclosure and reporting regimes for structured finance in May (TS, 10/05/10). Among other requirements are additional SEC filings for issuers, loan-level data disclosure principals and their retention of 5% of a deal they originate.
Speakers were also critical of the SEC’s 17g-5 rule, which forces issuers to upload ratings data to a Web site to allow unsolicited ratings. Mark Wilten, treasurer at Nissan North America, said not a single unsolicited rating agency had used the data the firm was forced to provide. “Rating agencies are commercial enterprises as well,” Wilten said. “To think they might staff up to start issuing unsolicited ratings for which they get paid nothing? I guess we’ll see where things go.” Wilten called on the industry to track the activity 17g-5 generated.
Andrew Kang, director of securitization at Santander Consumer USA, agreed with Wilten, saying 17g-5 had not made issuing more difficult, but expanded the timeline of communication with the agencies. “Everything needs to be thought of initially, planned and hopefully addressed on day one,” Kang noted. “We developed an internal solution, which was a Web site the agencies could go to and download information. “But, we have not had one agency come to us and download that information.”