Months after mounting an aggressive play for subprime auto borrowers, Santander Consumer USA Holdings is scaling back its presence in the market, citing aggressive risk-taking by smaller competitors.

The Dallas-based auto lender – a unit of the Spanish banking giant Banco Santander – on Wednesday reported its first decline in auto originations in more than two years. Total originations sunk 6% from a year earlier to $6.8 billion as the company slowed down lending to borrowers with blemished credit.

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