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Regions Names Ex-KMPG Executive Lusco as Chief Risk Officer

Regions Financial Corp., the Alabama bank downgraded to junk status by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services last month, named Matthew Lusco senior executive vice president and chief risk officer.

Lusco, 53, was managing partner at KPMG LLP’s offices in Memphis, Tennessee, and Birmingham, where Regions is based. He worked for Arthur Andersen from 1989 to 2002, and for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a federal bank regulatory agency, from 1986 to 1988, according to a company statement.

Lusco succeeds Bill Wells, who departed Alabama’s biggest bank last month with two other officers after Regions’s board and Chief Executive Officer Grayson Hall, 53, pressed for changes because of “slow” progress in improving credit quality, the bank’s finance chief, David Turner, said at a Nov. 16 investor conference in New York. The changes weren’t imposed by regulators, Turner said.

“I look forward to build upon the solid foundation that is already in place and helping the company return to sustainable profitability,” Lusco said in the statement.

Regions last reported an annual profit in 2007, and since the start of last year has written off more than $3 billion in loans, mostly tied to developers, home builders and mortgage borrowers in Georgia and Florida. The shares fell 6 cents to $6.01 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

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