Regions Bank Settles|With SEC for $51 Million

WASHINGTON (CN) – Regions Bank will pay $51 million to settle fraud charges filed by the SEC, the Federal Reserve Board and the Alabama Department of Banking, the SEC said Wednesday.
     Regions Financial Corp. agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement on June 10, which the SEC released Wednesday.
     “Thomas A. Neely Jr. was the principal architect of the scheme while serving as head of Regions Bank’s risk analytics group in 2009,” the SEC said in a statement Wednesday. “Along with the bank’s head of special assets Jeffrey C. Kuehr and chief credit officer Michael J. Willoughby, Neely took intentional steps to circumvent internal accounting controls and improperly classify $168 million in commercial loans as performing so Regions could avoid recording a higher allowance for loan and lease losses.”
     Kuehr and Willoughby agreed to pay $70,000 apiece to settle the charges, which Neely will fight, the SEC said in its Wednesday statement.

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