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Announcement:

Moody's confirms Regions' ratings (senior Ba3). Outlook is negative.

28 Feb 2011

New York, February 28, 2011 -- Moody's Investors Service confirmed the long-term ratings of Regions Financial Corporation (senior Ba3) and its subsidiaries, including its lead bank, Regions Bank (stand-alone bank financial strength D+, long-term deposits Ba1). This concludes Moody's review that commenced on November 16, 2010. The rating outlook on Regions and its subsidiaries is negative.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The confirmation of Regions' ratings results from the rating agency's view that, although Regions' asset quality performance is likely to remain challenged for the foreseeable future, a sharp deterioration is unlikely in the expected economic environment. Moody's had been concerned that the significant, and unexpected, risk management executive departures in the fourth quarter signaled deeper risk management problems at the company. The firm has since reported its fourth quarter results and filed its 10K, and these contained no further adverse developments. Loan loss provisions declined, but nonperforming assets (NPAs) remain at elevated levels and the migration of new NPAs continues.

Moody's expects Regions will remain challenged in its quest to return to sustainable profitability. In the rating agency's opinion, it is likely that provisioning will continue at historically heightened levels, stemming from its credit concentrations in commercial real estate (CRE) and home equity lending. Moody's further recognizes that the bank's profitability will also be challenged by revenue pressures from both regulatory headwinds and the relatively low yields on its existing loan portfolio. Looking forward, the firm's ability to generate revenue growth will be hampered by its need to increase lending margins while growing the loan portfolio in a period of heightened competitive pressure and weak loan demand.

Moody's noted that the bank's capital levels are sufficient to absorb credit costs under its expected economic scenario. However, the negative outlook reflects the significant transition risk Regions is exposed to if a more adverse economic climate develops given the firm's concentrations in CRE (2.0 times tangible common equity) and home equity (1.7 times TCE). Regions' CRE and home equity include exposure in its core Southeast footprint where markets have been adversely affected by declines in real estate value.

The rating agency added that Regions has good market presence in its core states, which has provided a healthy core deposit base that supports Regions healthy liquidity position. The rating agency also notes the current robustness of liquidity at the parent. These strengths help to support Regions' current ratings.

These actions had no impact on the FDIC-guaranteed debt issued by Regions Bank, which remains at Aaa with a stable outlook.

Moody's last rating action on Regions was on November 16, 2010, when the holding company's senior rating was lowered to Ba3 from Ba1 and the bank's long-term deposits were lowered to Ba1 from Baa3, and the ratings were left under review for possible downgrade.

The principal methodologies used in this rating were Bank Financial Strength Ratings: Global Methodology published in February 2007, Incorporation of Joint-Default Analysis into Moody's Bank Ratings: A Refined Methodology published in March 2007 and Moody's Guidelines for Rating Bank Hybrid Securities and Subordinated Debt Published in November 2009.

Regions Financial Corporation headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, reported total assets of $132 billion at December 31, 2010

Issuer: AmSouth Bancorporation ,

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Confirmations:

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Confirmed at B1

Issuer: AmSouth Bank ,

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Confirmations:

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Confirmed at Ba3

Issuer: Regions Asset Management Company, Inc. ,

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Confirmations:

....Preferred Stock Preferred Stock, Confirmed at B1

Issuer: Regions Bank ,

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Confirmations:

.... Bank Financial Strength Rating, Confirmed at D+

.... Issuer Rating, Confirmed at Ba2

....OSO Senior Unsecured OSO Rating, Confirmed at Ba2

....Multiple Seniority Bank Note Program, Confirmed at (P)Ba3, (P)Ba2

....Multiple Seniority Bank Note Program, Confirmed at (P)Ba3, (P)Ba2

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Confirmed at Ba3

....Senior Unsecured Deposit Rating, Confirmed at Ba1

Issuer: Regions Financial Corporation ,

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Confirmations:

.... Issuer Rating, Confirmed at Ba3

....Multiple Seniority Shelf, Confirmed at (P)B3, (P)Ba3

....Multiple Seniority Shelf, Confirmed at (P)B3, (P)Ba3

....Multiple Seniority Shelf, Confirmed at (P)B3, (P)Ba3

....Multiple Seniority Shelf, Confirmed at (P)B3, (P)Ba3

....Multiple Seniority Shelf, Confirmed at (P)B3, (P)Ba3

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Confirmed at B1

....Subordinate Shelf, Confirmed at (P)B1

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Confirmed at Ba3

Issuer: Regions Financing Trust II ,

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Confirmations:

....Preferred Stock Preferred Stock, Confirmed at B2

....Preferred Stock Shelf, Confirmed at (P)B2

Issuer: Regions Financing Trust III ,

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Confirmations:

....Preferred Stock Preferred Stock, Confirmed at B2

Issuer: Union Planters Bank, National Association ,

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Confirmations:

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Confirmed at Ba3

Issuer: Union Planters Corporation ,

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Confirmations:

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Confirmed at B1

Issuer: Union Planters Preferred Funding Corp. ,

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

..Confirmations:

....Preferred Stock Preferred Stock, Confirmed at B2

New York
Gregory Frank
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

New York
Robert Young
MD - Financial Institutions
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's Investors Service
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's confirms Regions' ratings (senior Ba3). Outlook is negative.
No Related Data.
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