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Principal Shifts $390 Million Loan Portfolio as Bank Retreats

Principal Financial Group Inc. (PFG) shifted $390 million in loans from its bank unit as U.S. regulators increase oversight.

Principal moved $350 million of commercial real estate debt to another part of the Des Moines, Iowa-based company, Sonja Sorrel, a spokeswoman, said in an e-mail today. About $40 million in loans were sold to external buyers, she said.

Principal, which offers investment products and life insurance, is seeking to deregister as a savings and loan holding company amid greater U.S. scrutiny of such firms under the Dodd-Frank Act. Insurers including MetLife Inc. (MET), American International Group Inc. (AIG) and Allstate Corp. have sold deposits or retreated from banking.

“Principal Bank remains on track to complete deregistration by year-end,” Sorrel said. “As part of this process, Principal Bank recently divested the bank’s commercial and commercial real estate loans.”

Principal said in June it reached a deal to sell $200 million of deposits from the bank unit. The loan sales were in August and September, Sorrel said.

The insurer has said its bank will operate as a limited purpose trust institution after the sales are completed. The unit will continue offering individual retirement accounts.

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