Regions Banks wealth management businesses slipped in the fourth quarter, according to the banks holding companys financial results released Tuesday.
In the fourth quarter, the Birmingham, Ala.-based bank generated $48 million in investment management and trust fee income, down $2 million, or 4%, from the previous quarter. Revenue from investment services also fell, dropping 20% to $8 million from $10 million in the third quarter. One bright spot in the fourth quarter was insurance commissions and fees, which increased by $1 million, or 3.7%, to $28 million.
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In total, the banks wealth management businesses generated $84 million in fourth-quarter revenue, down 24.3% from $111 million in the third quarter. The strong third-quarter performance was due to the divestiture of a non-core portion of the wealth management business, which resulted in a pre-tax gain of $24 million, the companys CFO David J. Turner, Jr., said during the earnings call.
Regions Bank reorganized its wealth management operations in September 2012 following the sale of its Morgan Keegan business to Raymond James. In 2013, it formed a new brokerage unit focused on the needs of mass-affluent consumers, which the bank decided to build from scratch. The unit aims to have 160 to 170 financial advisors by the end of 2014, Jim Nonnengard, head of Regions Investment Services, the banks brokerage unit, told Bank Investment Consultant last year.
In 2013, we made significant investments in our wealth management group by adding over 100 financial consultant positions. We expect these positions to be fully profitable in 2014, Turner told analysts on the call.
Overall, Regions Financial Corp. earned $219 million in the fourth quarter, down 23.1% from $285 million the previous quarter. For the full year, Regions earned $1.1 billion, up 10% year-over-year.