Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 27, 2006

AmSouth merge


The Selma Times-Journal

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Executives for Regions Financial Corp. and AmSouth Bancorp., Alabama’s two leading banks, announced Thursday they will merge to become Regions Financial, but how will this merger affect Selma and other smaller communities?

Swagler said the deal is likely to close during the fourth quarter &045; the end of this year.

The actual merging of the banks is expected to be complete by spring 2008.

Even after the five to six month grace period has passed, bank representatives say it’s too soon to know the fates of small town branches.

Friday’s edition of The Birmingham News reported that the merger &045; valued at nearly $10 billion &045;may result in the loss of 3,700 jobs, mainly in the Magic City.

Todd said she doesn’t think &8220;that’s an accurate number when we talk about the number of people losing their jobs.&8221;

In fact, Todd said both banks have a number of job openings and they hope to fill those vacancies.

In the event local branches are shut down, Todd said the banks usually reassign employees to another branch.

Swagler said it’s too soon to talk about the number of jobs lost.

He says the merger will result in normal attrition &045; when employees decide to leave the company on their own terms &045; and branches being sold to other banks.

According to the AmSouth Bank web site, the merger will create one of the top 10 bank holding companies in the U.S., with $140 billion in assets and nearly $100 billion deposits. Regions Financial will operate 2,000 branches and 2,800 ATMs in 16 states across the South, the Midwest and Texas, employing 37,000 people.

Regions President and CEO Jackson W. Moore will assume the role as chairman of the joint companies. C. Dowd Ritter, chairman, president and CEO of Amsouth, will become president and CEO of Regions Financial.

AmSouth Bank was established 125 years ago as First National Bank of Birmingham. The corporation reorganized in 1972 and as of December 2004, AmSouth had total consolidated assets of $49.5 billion.

Serving customers for more than 135 years, Regions Bank was formed in 1971 as First Alabama Bancshares Inc. The state’s first multibank holding company, Regions began its operation with a total of $543 million in assets and 40 banking locations in Birmingham, Huntsville and Montgomery.