Business brief: Regions Financial swings to gain in fourth quarter

January 24, 2013 9:30:30 AM

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BIRMINGHAM -- Regions Financial Corp. posted a gain in the fourth quarter after a year-ago period weighed down by the sale of an investment management subsidiary. 

 

The big regional bank, based in Birmingham, Ala., said Tuesday that despite "challenging economic headwinds," Regions has increased loans to middle market companies and auto lending, launched new consumer products and invested aggressively in its mobile and online platforms. 

 

However, the bank earned less from interest on loans as its total loan book shrank -- a trend it blamed on consumers continuing to pay down old debt. 

 

Regions' net income was $261 million, or 18 cents per share, in the period ending Dec. 31. That compares with a loss of $602 million, or 48 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.