AUSTIN, Texas — As in years past, the Consumer Bankers Association will release the findings of its Automobile Finance Study at its National Automobile Finance Conference & Trade Show, March 18-20 at the Austin Hilton.

Leading executives from retail banking and finance companies will gather at this year's event, themed "Shifting Gears: Prospering in Changing Business Cycles," to discuss the latest trends in indirect lending, financing and leasing via seminars and group sessions and more. A few of the discussion topics include technology, pricing and profitability, residuals, floor planning and credit risk management.

"For more than 20 years, CBA's automobile finance conference and tradeshow has been the premier event in its field," association executives explained.

"Drawing the top industry executives from the world of retail banking and finance companies, our conference provides you with the opportunity to gain greater understanding of the future of the industry and to take away actionable solutions to keep your institution ahead of its competitors," officials continued.

The event is open to auto financing executives, leasing executives, marketing managers, e-commerce managers, senior risk managers, product managers and sales managers.

A few of the featured sessions include:

State of the Industry — Bank Perspective

—This session features Mark Pregmon, executive vice president, consumer lending LOB manager for SunTrust Banks; N. Craig Stickney, senior vice president and director of the auto finance division at TD Banknorth; and Paul Wible, senior executive vice president of Bank of the West.

—In this panel, speakers will discuss their portfolios, in addition to what they are seeing in their respective markets. They will also comment on various topics that impact business, including manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, margins, credit quality and market share.

Economic Update

—This session features Gene Stanaland, president of GSE Inc.

—Association officials said they brought this speaker back due to popular demand. Stanaland will analyze how the current economic conditions will impact the auto market in the coming year.

Floor Plan Financing — Managing the Current Challenges

—Speakers include Ellsworth Clarke, representing Bank of America's Dealer Financial Services Commercial Credit Products; and James Frank, senior vice president of M&T Bank.

—These executives will focus on different floor-plan strategies, their practices and the metrics they use to mitigate risk. Moreover, the session will cover margins and trends, along with an exploration of opportunities designed to help increase market share.

Regulatory/Legislative Update

—This session will feature Marcia Sullivan, director of government relations for the CBA; and Steven Zeisel, vice president and senior council for the CBA.

—As many in the industry are aware, staying informed about recent legislative developments is a must to maintain business success. This session will address various pending regulatory issues from an auto finance perspective.

Managing the Dealer Business — Potential Eroding of Market Share/Profits

This session's key speaker is Gary Tucker, senior vice president with J.D. Power & Associates.

—Utilizing J.D. Power and Associates research facilities, Tucker will discuss the rise of credit unions in the indirect lending sector, featuring data relating to pricing, risk and customer satisfaction. This session will also look at direct lending and its potential impact on indirect lending portfolios.

Registration Information

CBA members who pre-registered for the conference can attend for $1,245. On-site member registration is $1,345. If a spouse or companion accompanies a member, the fee is $195.

Non-members can attend; however, they must be representing a federally insured bank. For non-members the pre-registered attendance cost is $1,545 and the on-site registration charge is $1,645. If a spouse or companion comes along, it is $205.

For more information, or to register, visit