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Regions CEO Hall Adds Chairman Title as Deavenport Retires

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Regions Financial Corp. Chief Executive Officer Grayson Hall will add chairman to his title after Earnest W. Deavenport retires in May.

Deavenport, 74, has been a director since 1999 and became non-executive chairman in 2010, the Birmingham, Alabama-based lender said today in a statement. At the 2011 and 2012 shareholder meetings, he received exemptions to serve beyond the bank’s retirement age of 72, according to the statement and Evelyn Mitchell, a Regions spokeswoman.

Deavenport helped Regions recover after reporting six consecutive quarters of losses starting in 2009. The bank’s former CEO, Dowd Ritter, almost doubled its real-estate construction-loan portfolio, and mortgage loans climbed 59 percent from the end of 2005 through 2007. Soured loans surged as home prices began to drop, with Regions writing off $3.8 billion in 2008 and 2009. Hall became CEO in March 2010.

Deavenport “helped guide us through a tremendously difficult environment, and his vision has been integral to revitalizing our company” Hall, 55, said today in the statement.

Regions fell 1.6 percent to close at $7.59 today in New York. The shares have gained 27 percent in the past 12 months, compared with an 18 percent increase in the 24-company KBW Bank Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Marcinek in New York at lmarcinek3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net

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