“2013 was a foundational year for Regions as we took decisive action to position the company for long-term, sustainable growth while also achieving positive loan growth,” said Grayson Hall, president, chairman and CEO. “By focusing on meeting the financial needs of our customers and maintaining our efforts to operate more efficiently, we concluded the year with more customers and successfully lowered adjusted expenses (1) compared to the prior year. We are optimistic about growth prospects for 2014 as consumers and businesses begin the year with healthy balance sheets and the economy continues to improve.”Strengthening asset quality by further de-risking the balance sheet During the fourth quarter, Regions transferred loans totaling approximately $686 million to held-for-sale. The loans transferred were primarily accruing first lien residential mortgages classified as troubled debt restructurings (TDRs) and the company expects to execute a sale of these loans early this year. This transaction, when completed, is expected to result in lower deposit administrative fees, improve the company’s credit profile and further strengthen the company’s balance sheet. Net charge-offs totaled $278 million in the fourth quarter, including $151 million related to the transfer of residential mortgage loans to held-for-sale. Regions’ provision for loan losses was $79 million for the quarter, of which $75 million was related to the loan transfers. The prior quarter’s loan loss provision amounted to $18 million. The allowance for loan and lease losses represented 1.80 percent of total loans outstanding, a decline of 23 basis points from the prior quarter. Non-performing loans (excluding loans held-for-sale) improved $272 million, or 20 percent, from the prior quarter and 36 percent from the prior year. The pace of loans migrating into non-performing loan status declined 12 percent from the previous quarter to $175 million and is down 50 percent from the previous year. In addition, commercial and investor real estate criticized and classified loans declined 14 percent in the quarter and were down 33 percent year-over-year.