Pending approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission, First Union National Bank is looking to boost its penetration into the auto loan sector via a rent-a-shelf structure, which would allow the bank to sign on smaller auto loan originators for one-time or occasional access to the capital markets, sources said.

According to the trust filing, called Pooled Auto Securities Shelf, the deals will be structured in four parts: class A-1, A-2 and A-3 notes, plus B-class certificates.

Historically, as lead manager, First Union's penetration into the U.S. public auto loan-backed market has been relatively low, peaking in 1998 at $800 million for just over 2% of total auto proceeds, according to figures provided by Thomson Financial Securities Data. Counting deals that First Union co-managed as well, the bank has worked on nearly 5% of the auto deals from 1997 to present.

By in large, First Union's greatest presence in the asset-backed market has been in the equipment lease-backed sector, where, since 1997, the bank has brought approximately $8.9 billion to market for greater than 32% of the market share, and a consistent top one or two showing on the league tables.

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