With a hat tip to the Calculated Risk blog, who uses the term liberally, another bank has made a visit to the so-called confessional. Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Financial Corp. said Thursday it will boost loan loss reserves to approximately $360 million in the fourth quarter of 2007, an increase of $270 million one quarter earlier. The company cited “weakening credit quality,” primarily in its residential construction loan portfolio. We are experiencing a sharp slowdown in real estate demand, especially in parts of Florida and Georgia, and are responding aggressively to counter its effects,â€? said Dowd Ritter, chairman and chief executive officer. “We are closely monitoring the impact of the declines in housing demand and values on our borrowers and are acting quickly to address current areas of weakness.â€? Residential builder loans represent approximately 8 percent, or $7.5 billion, of Regions’ total portfolio of $95 billion. In addition to increasing the loan loss provision, the company said it reassign key managers to focus on work-out strategies for distressed borrowers. The bank also said it will record approximately $131 million of additional pre-tax charges during the fourth quarter, including $42 million it said was related to its mortgage servicing business. For more information, visit http://www.regions.com. Disclosure: At time of post, the author held no positions in RF.

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