Subprime's New Frontier: Auto Loans Banks jumping back into lucrative market By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Apr 11, 2012 7:44 AM CDT 11 comments Comments Lenders are looking to get more lucrative subprime borrowers to sign on the dotted line. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – That whole "subprime crisis" hasn't scared banks away from the lucrative world of subprime lending. The nation's top subprime lenders—like Capital One, GM Financial, HSBC, and JPMorgan Chase—are all trying to woo back less-creditworthy borrowers, who tend to rack up late fees while paying rates as high as 29%, the New York Times reports. "It's clear that we are returning to business as usual," said a former Federal Reserve regulator. But that's not entirely true; the focus hasn't yet shifted to mortgages, it's on auto loans. Auto loans were left largely unaffected by new post-crisis regulations, and the market for bundled auto loan securities is expanding—so much so that Moody's last year issued a report that it was growing "too much too fast." In the fourth quarter of 2011, 23% of new auto loans were subprime. But lenders are also eager to roll out credit cards: In December, 1.1 million new cards were issued to people with damaged credit, the Times notes.