General Motors’ European subsidiary, Opel, will expand its financial operations into online retail banking in Germany. The initiative aims to use consumer deposits to broaden the base of its financing operation.
Opel currently has roughly 200,000 customers using its in-house banking service for car loans or leases. The Germany-based GM subsidiary said that moving into online consumer banking will add more potential customers, while also stating that up to a third of Opel Bank GmbH’s refinancing needs may be covered through new deposits from the retail bank.
Opel re-entered the automotive lending and financing space in April 2013 after General Motors’ in-house financing, GM Financial, arm bought back international automotive lending operations, including those for Europe, from Ally. GM sold off the very same operations during the 2008-2009 financial crisis. European operations were part of the re-purchase deal.
Opel says that it will consider further expanding the consumer banking operation to other European markets based on their performance in Germany.