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Regions' wealth revenue ticks up even as brokerage business slumps

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Regions Bank's wealth management businesses turned in a solid year-end performance, according to the latest financial results released by the bank's parent on Friday.

The Birmingham, Ala.-based bank generated $103 million in fourth-quarter revenue from its brokerage, trust and insurance operations, up 3% from $100 million in the same quarter a year ago. For the full year, revenue from the three businesses swelled 5.5% to $419 million from $397 million in 2015.
The 3% year-over-year increase in the fourth quarter was due to growth in investment management and trust fees, which exceeded the decline in brokerage services, the bank's CFO David Turner said during the earnings call.

Revenue, however, was down 3.7% from the prior quarter, which set a revenue record for wealth management, Turner said.

The trust services business was the biggest revenue driver in the fourth quarter, generating $57 million, up a significant 11.8% year-over-year. Insurance services hauled in $34 million, unchanged from the same quarter a year ago. Brokerage operations struggled in the fourth quarter, with revenue dropping 20% year-over-year to $12 million.

Overall, Regions Financial Corp., the parent of Regions Bank, earned $279 million, or 23 cents per diluted share, in the fourth quarter, compared with $269 million, or 21 cents per diluted share, in the same quarter the year before. For the full year, Regions earned $1.1 billion, up 10% from 2015, and earnings per share of 87 cents.

"We're very pleased with 2016 results," said Grayson Hall, Regions' chairman, president and CEO. "We diligently executed our strategic plan and maintained our focus on business fundamentals.

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