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Rating Action:

Moody's places Regions (senior A3) under review

05 May 2009

New York, May 05, 2009 -- Moody's Investors Service placed the ratings of Regions Financial Corporation (senior at A3, short-term Prime-2) and its subsidiaries, including its lead bank, Regions Bank (bank financial strength C+, long-term deposits A2, short-term deposits Prime-1), under review for possible downgrade.

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

During its review, Moody's will further analyze the potential loss content in Regions' loan portfolio. In particular, Regions is significantly exposed to residential homebuilders in the Southeast, and this portfolio substantially deteriorated in the first quarter of 2009. As well, the company's exposure to second lien home equity loans in Florida is a growing concern as net charge-offs increased more than 150 basis points during the quarter. Moody's will incorporate its updated loss analysis of these and Region's other portfolios in evaluating Regions' expected earnings and resulting capital position.

Although Regions enters this challenging period with relatively sound capital ratios -- at year-end 2008, Tier 1 risk-based was 10.38% and Moody's tangible common equity (TCE) ratio was 7.53% -- Regions' capital position is likely to be increasingly challenged by further weakening in its residential homebuilder and home equity portfolios. Regions' ongoing and growing issues in these portfolios will be a key factor in resolving the review, which we expect to conclude within the next several weeks.

Although, historically, Moody's has not ascribed any level of systemic support to Regions in the event of financial distress, we now incorporate the view that the probability of systemic support for U.S. banks, like Regions, with more than $100 billion in assets, has increased. In Moody's judgment, given Regions' leading deposit market shares in Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, as well as its solid market shares in the company's other markets, the bank would benefit from a low probability of systemic support in a period of financial distress. This could result in the bank-level debt and deposit ratings receiving up to one-notch of lift above the level implied by its stand-alone bank financial strength rating. However, systemic support is less beneficial for holding company creditors, in Moody's view. Therefore, were the bank's debt and deposit ratings to benefit from systemic support, the notching between the holding company's and bank's long-term ratings would widen.

Moody's also said that placing all ratings of both Regions Financial and Regions Bank under review for possible downgrade, despite the aforementioned potential benefit from systemic support, indicates that the long-term ratings could be lowered by more than one notch.

Moody's last rating action on Regions was on March 12, 2009, when the outlook on the bank's debt and deposit ratings was changed to stable from negative.

The principal methodologies used in rating this issuer were "Bank Financial Strength Ratings: Global Methodology" (February 2007) and "Incorporation of Joint-Default Analysis into Moody's Bank Ratings: A Refined Methodology" (March 2007), which can be found at www.moodys.com in the Credit Policy & Methodologies directory, in the Ratings Methodologies subdirectory. Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process of rating this issuer can also be found in the Credit Policy & Methodologies directory.

Regions Financial Corporation, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, reported total assets of $142 billion at March 31, 2009.

On Review for Possible Downgrade:

..Issuer: AmSouth Bancorporation

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

..Issuer: AmSouth Bank

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A3

..Issuer: Regions Asset Management Company, Inc.

....Preferred Stock Preferred Stock, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

..Issuer: Regions Bank

....Bank Financial Strength Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently C+

....Issuer Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2

....OSO Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently P-1

....Deposit Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently P-1

....OSO Senior Unsecured OSO Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2

....Multiple Seniority Bank Note Program, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A3

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A3

....Senior Unsecured Deposit Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2

..Issuer: Regions Financial Corporation

....Issuer Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A3

....Multiple Seniority Shelf, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently (P)Baa2

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

....Subordinate Shelf, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently (P)Baa1

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A3

..Issuer: Regions Financing Trust II

....Preferred Stock Preferred Stock, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

....Preferred Stock Shelf, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently (P)Baa1

..Issuer: Regions Financing Trust III

....Preferred Stock Preferred Stock, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

....Preferred Stock Shelf, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently (P)Baa1

..Issuer: Regions Financing Trust IV

....Preferred Stock Shelf, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently (P)Baa1

..Issuer: Regions Financing Trust V

....Preferred Stock Shelf, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently (P)Baa1

..Issuer: Regions Financing Trust VI

....Preferred Stock Shelf, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently (P)Baa1

..Issuer: Union Planters Bank, National Association

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A3

..Issuer: Union Planters Corporation

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A3

..Issuer: Union Planters Preferred Funding Corp.

....Preferred Stock Preferred Stock, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently Baa1

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: AmSouth Bancorporation

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

..Issuer: AmSouth Bank

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

..Issuer: Regions Asset Management Company, Inc.

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

..Issuer: Regions Bank

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable(m)

..Issuer: Regions Financial Corporation

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

..Issuer: Regions Financing Trust II

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

..Issuer: Regions Financing Trust III

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

..Issuer: Regions Financing Trust IV

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

..Issuer: Regions Financing Trust V

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

..Issuer: Regions Financing Trust VI

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

..Issuer: Union Planters Bank, National Association

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

..Issuer: Union Planters Corporation

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

..Issuer: Union Planters Preferred Funding Corp.

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

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
Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's places Regions (senior A3) under review
No Related Data.
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