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Delinquency Higher, Losses Lower at Regions

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Quarterly residential volume held up at Regions Financial Corp. as the company cut its losses. But delinquency was worse.

Earnings data released today from the Birmingham, Ala.-based bank indicated fourth-quarter 2009 fundings were approximately $2.3 billion. Business was the same as around $2.3 billion in the prior quarter.

While fundings weren’t broken out specifically for residential transactions, second-quarter 2009 earnings data indicated that around 84 percent of “home loans and other lending to consumer” were residential mortgages. For all of last year, Regions said “home loans and other lending to consumers” totaled 122,034 loans for $12.5 billion. Using the 84 percent share, residential production during 2009 was approximately 102,500 loans for roughly $10.5 billion.

Mortgage assets as of Dec. 31 included $15.6 billion in residential first mortgages, higher than $15.5 billion three months earlier. Home-equity holdings declined to $15.4 billion from $15.6 billion.

Residential delinquency of at least 90 days was 2.31 percent, rising from 2.23 percent three months earlier and 1.72 percent one year earlier. Home-equity delinquency climbed to 1.57 percent from the prior quarter’s 1.42 percent and the prior year’s 1.33 percent.

Commercial real estate mortgages finished last year $28.2 billion, edging lower from $28.3 billion at the end of September, while commercial real estate construction fell to $6.3 billion from $7.5 billion.

Delinquency on owner-occupied commercial properties was 0.13 percent, higher than the third quarter’s 0.10 percent, while the rate on investor commercial mortgages decreased to 0.14 percent from 0.18 percent.

Mortgage income fell to $46 million from the third quarter’s $76 million. But earnings from mortgages was higher than $34 million in the fourth-quarter 2008. For all of last year, mortgage income was $259 million, nearly double the $138 million earned during 2008.

Earnings before taxes from all business were an $830 million loss, worse than the $651 million loss in the prior quarter but a vast improvement from the huge $6.7 billion loss in the fourth-quarter 2008. Full-year losses at Regions were $1.2 billion, much lower than the $5.9 billion loss suffered during 2008.

Headcount finished the fourth quarter at 28,509, lower than 28,995 on Sept. 30 and 30,784 on Dec. 31, 2008.

Regions noted that Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation data from last year indicate that its deposit market share increased in 15 of the 16 states it operates.

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