expectsits business model to hold up to whatever turns the economic cycle might takebecause of the underwriting experience in its legacy DNA.
Duringa conference call to discuss first-quarter earnings, President and CEO JayLevine highlighted what OneMain considers to be a favorable environment forlending, with initial unemployment claims having gone down and the consumersentiment index that having improved over the past three years.
"Themacroeconomic environment, in general, continues to be favorable for ourcustomers and most Americans," Levine said. While Wall Street seemsjittery, Main Street seems to be just fine, he said.
Withindays of reports indicating headwinds facing online lenders, Levine said OneMain expects continued successwith largely the same business model that dates back decades.
Otherlenders have experienced higher delinquencies from perhaps originating loansdeeper in the consumer credit spectrum in an effort to grow fast and expandmarket share, the CEO said. OneMain has maintained its underwriting discipline,and has not gone further down the ladder to achieve growth, Levine said.
Thecompany has yet to see any business flow to it from dislocations in themarketplace lending business, he said. The news has been too recent for OneMainto make any marketing adjustments, but Levine thinks the decrease in loanvolume in that sector could benefit his company.
"We'vetouted our model … how we lend, and how we underwrite and deal with this kindof borrower," he said. OneMain thinks it is important to do in-personlending, and has challenged some of the online lenders that think they can godeeper into the consumer credit pool to for their business, he said.