Loan Participations Spread Taxi Medallion Pain
Data from the NCUA suggested that the impact of falling taxi medallion values may extend significantly past the four cooperatives that have traditionally engaged in the majority of credit union medallion lending.
As of June 30, 2015, those four New York credit unions – the $179 million, 2,900-member Montauk Credit Union of New York City; the $271 million, 3,000-member LOMTO Federal Credit Union in Woodside; the $2.1 billion, 24,000-member Melrose Credit Union in Briarwood and the $692 million, 3,800-member Progressive Credit Union in New York City – collectively sold 1,442 member business loans totaling more than $814.5 million, according to the NCUA.
The NCUA’s records did not reveal how many of the loan participations were for loans involving taxi medallions, but the agency said a substantial portion of Montauk CU’s 136 participated business loans, worth $90.5 million, involved taxi medallions. The NCUA took over Montauk CU on Sept. 18.
In addition, LOMTO FCU President/CEO Richard Kay reported that 100% of LOMTO FCU’s 201 participated business loans, worth $101 million, had involved them as well.
Progressive CU reported having sold participations in 1,021 business loans, worth roughly $572.7 million as of June 30, 2015, while Melrose CU reported having sold participations in 84 business loans totaling a little more than $50 million.
NCUA Public Affairs Specialist John Fairbanks sought to put the number of taxi medallion loans into context by pointing out that the taxi medallion loans represent far less than 1% of the credit unions’ total lending activity.
He also said that the four New York credit unions account for all of the taxi medallion lending in the country.
“Taxi medallion lending outside that circle of four is not significant,” Fairbanks wrote in an email.
He also reported that about 122 credit unions have purchased participations in taxi medallion loans, but that “the overwhelming majority do not have a concentration risk.” He did acknowledge, however, that “a very small number of these credit unions have that risk.”
Fairbanks also pointed out that credit unions have only taken about 33% of the total taxi medallion lending market.
However, it is unclear by how much that should comfort credit unions that hold the participation loans, since at least one of the cooperatives reported a significant number of them as delinquent.
Melrose CU reported in its June 2015 5300 report that 27 of its 84 participated business loans, worth more than $202,000, were at least 60 days delinquent, including 10 that were more than 360 days delinquent.
And LOMTO FCU reported that six of its 201 participated loans, worth just under $1.6 million, were delinquent, according to its call report.
However, Progressive CU, the credit union with the greatest number and amount of business loan participations out of the four, reported only three of its participated loans, worth slightly more than $90,000, as delinquent. Before it was conserved, Montauk CU reported two participated loans, worth slightly less than $163,000, as delinquent.
Read more about taxi medallion lending and the changing taxi industry’s effect on credit unions in the Oct. 7, 2015 print issue of CU Times.