Magazine article American Banker

Regions Is Finally in a Position to Talk about Growth

Magazine article American Banker

Regions Is Finally in a Position to Talk about Growth

Article excerpt

Byline: Rachel Witkowski

The management team at Regions Financial (RF) offered investors hints of a new growth strategy, based on confidence that the Birmingham, Ala., company has turned the corner in the Southeast.

aSimply put, the first quarter of this year was a quarter of significant accomplishments,a said Grayson Hall, the companyas chief executive, during a presentation Monday at the Deutsche Bank 2012 Global Financial Services Investor Conference. aI would characterize it as a pivotal quarter for our organization and one in which now weare well positioned to grow our franchise profitability.a

Hall outlined a number of initiatives to increase revenue, including getting heavier into credit card servicing and battling in the war for middle-market business loans.

aWhere weare at right now certainly puts us in stronger position to compete really for talent and for customers,a Hall said in response to an analystas question about taking on business loans that Regions couldnat pursue previously. aWeare in different place today . . . we got a lot accomplished in first quarter but I think wead be first to say thereas still some hard work due ahead.a

The $128 billion-asset Regions hit a turning point in the first quarter when it posted higher-than-expected earnings and credit quality improvements. The company also made progress last month when it repaid $3.5 billion to exit the Troubled Asset Relief Program Fund, though Regions also sold unit Morgan Keegan. Buoyed by a $900 million capital raise earlier this year, Hall has been singing a more-offensive tune in recent weeks. …

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