JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) is apparently reaching into the till to buy a big portfolio of loans. According to various media reports, most citing "people familiar with the deal," the banking giant has agreed to acquire just over $900 million in consumer loans from Santander Consumer USA Holdings (NYSE:SC).
One report was published in The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper's sources said that JPMorgan Chase paid a premium to the outstanding balance on the loans. They did not elaborate.
The loans were originally arranged by peer-to-peer borrowing facilitator LendingClub (NYSE:LC). In March 2013, Santander Consumer USA Holdings agreed to buy up to 25% of LendingClub's originations for a period of three years. However, last year Santander Consumer USA Holdings began to reduce its personal loan portfolio in favor of its core business of automobile loans.
Does it matter?
It's hard to judge how much the deal will impact JPMorgan Chase, given that we don't (yet) have a fix on how much it might be paying for the LendingClub/Santander Consumer USA Holdings packet of loans. What we can assume, given that this buyer with deep experience in every conceivable type of lending apparently paid a premium for them, is that they're relatively high quality.
Unless JPMorgan either loses its shirt or profits outrageously from them, however, the move probably won't impact the big bank much. After all, the amount is a drop in the bucket of the company's net loans tally, which at the end of last year stood at nearly $824 billion.
It will have more of an effect on Santander Consumer USA Holdings, with a total finance receivables and loans figure of under $33 billion at the end of 2015. Both that company and, by extension, originator LendingClub should see a benefit, as their remaining loans could potentially attract more interest and/or higher prices in a potential sale.