Regions Financial reported fourth-quarter earnings of $261 million compared to a net loss of $602 million for the same quarter in 2011. The bank noted that its provision for loan losses in the quarter was $37 million compared to $295 million in fourth quarter one-year ago. Regions noted that fourth-quarter 2011 earnings were negatively impacted by a $253 million goodwill impairment charge.

Regions said asset quality continued to improve in the fourth quarter. Total net charge-offs decreased linked quarter by 31%, or $82 million, to $180 million, the lowest level in almost five years. Net charge-offs as a percentage of total average loans decreased to 0.96%, below 1 percent for the first time in over four years. The company’s loan loss allowance to non-performing loan coverage ratio was 1.14x and the allowance for loan losses as a percentage of loans was 2.59 percent as of December 31, 2012.

“Although challenging economic headwinds persist, Regions has maintained an intense focus on meeting the needs of our customers,” said Grayson Hall, president and CEO. “I am pleased with the progress we made in 2012 and am encouraged that our efforts are building a strong foundation for sustainable growth in 2013 and beyond.”

To read Regions Financial’s news release click here.