"Regions and Union Planters have been through numerous conversions in our histories, and we all agree this conversion is our best ever," said Regions Chairman and CEO Carl E. Jones Jr. "The new Regions signs are up, and we converted our deposit, loan, recovery management and online banking systems without customer disruptions and ahead of schedule.
"Nothing gives you confidence like a strong success does," Jones said, "and based on the feedback we are getting from customers and the enthusiasm we're seeing in our branches, we feel good about the first conversion event - and are confident the remainder of the merger integration will continue to progress smoothly."
This customer systems conversion, which took place April 21-April 28, is the first bank branch integration since legacy Regions Financial Corp. and legacy Union Planters Corp. merged July 1, 2004. The second bank conversion event, now set for August, will involve more than 200 Union Planters Bank branches in Mississippi, southern Alabama, west Tennessee and the greater Memphis, Tenn., area. The remaining Union Planters branches in south Florida and the Midwest, which are already operating under the Regions Bank name, are scheduled for technical conversion by year-end 2005.
"I am extremely proud of our integration team and the hundreds of associates who worked countless hours to make this such a successful conversion," said Regions President Jackson W. Moore, who will become the Regions chief executive officer July 1 upon Jones' scheduled retirement from that position. (Jones will remain as chairman of the board.)
"Our definition of success means satisfying our customers, and we are doing that," Moore said. "Our banks were open to serve customers throughout the entire process, our Internet banking application was available a day earlier than expected, and all of our behind-the-scenes technological systems operated - and continue to operate - efficiently and accurately.
"We have built up great momentum for the conversions of the remaining 550 or so Union Planters branches later this year," he said, also noting that markets across the Regions 15-state geographic footprint in the South, Midwest and Texas have experienced strong new account growth during the first several months of 2005.
In addition to converting the former Union Planters branches to Regions Bank customer systems in April, Regions Financial Corporation also consolidated and/or closed 30 branches in four states, transferred more than 55,000 online banking customers from the legacy Union Planters online banking system to RegionsNet on www.regions.com, and converted 175 ATMs. The company had previously integrated its mortgage and brokerage systems and operations, as well as its corporate structure.
To communicate the customer systems and signage changes in the recently converted markets, Regions launched a major advertising and public relations campaign in those areas, complete with new television, radio and newspaper ads. Regions has also quite literally taken the marketing campaign on the road with long-haul trucks emblazoned with the new Regions signage. The trucks travel the roads of the converting markets, serving as rolling billboards to communicate the change and acquaint customers with the new Regions logo.
About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE: RF), headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., is a full-service provider of retail and commercial banking, trust, securities brokerage, mortgage, and insurance products and services. With its merger with the former Union Planters Corp. complete, Regions had $84.3 billion in assets as of March 31, 2005, making it one of the nation's Top 15 financial services providers. Regions' banking subsidiaries, Regions Bank and Union Planters Bank, operate some 1,350 offices and a 1,700-ATM network across a 15-state geographic footprint in the South, Midwest and Texas. Its investment and securities brokerage, trust and asset management division, Morgan Keegan & Company Inc., provides services from nearly 250 offices. Additional information about Regions, which is a member of both the Forbes and Fortune 500 and has one of the top mortgage companies in the United States, can be found at www.regions.com.