Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
Apr 20, 2018 • 11:00 am ET
improve service quality and make banking easier for our customers. Related, two weeks ago we entered into a definitive agreement to sell our Regions Insurance Group subsidiary. This transaction further supports our efforts to simplify and streamline our Company and focus on businesses where we can add the most value. It also demonstrates our strategic planning and capital allocation process in action and aligns with our Simplify and Grow initiative.
In addition, we continue to evaluate our retail network strategy and recently approved plans to consolidate between 30 and 40 additional branches during 2018. To facilitate growth, we have also plan to open approximately 20 de novo branches in certain high-growth priority markets. Rest assured, during this time of transformational change for our company, we remain focused as ever on providing customers with exemplary service. This is what relationship banking is all about, and it's at the core of our needs-based, go-to-market strategy.
Validating our approach, we recently received recognitions from several external sources for our superior customer service. For the fifth consecutive year, regions was ranked among the top 10% of companies across a wide range of industries in the Timken Experience Rankings. And for the fourth consecutive year, regions has received the Gallup Great Workplace Award for employee engagement.
Regions was also recognized by Greenwich Associates with 22 excellence awards for small business and middle market customer service, and Regions ranked second highest in customer satisfaction for advance guidance in the J.D. Power Retail Banking Sales Practices and Advice Study. Again, these awards provide evidence that our needs based, go-to-market strategy continues to resonate with customers and associates.
As we look forward, we believe there are four key areas providing considerable momentum for Regions. First is our asset sensitivity and funding advantage driven by our low-cost deposit base, which we believe provides a significant franchise value and a competitive advantage in a rising rate environment.
Second relates to asset quality. We experienced another quarter of broad-based improvements in credit quality and continue to expect modest improvements throughout the remainder of the year. Next, robust capital returns as we move towards our target Common Equity Tier one ratio included the anticipated capital generated from the sale of our Regions Insurance subsidiary. Finally, we expect additional improvements in core performance through our Simplify and Grow initiative, which is well underway as evidenced by our actions during the quarter.
I will now turn the call over to David to cover the details of the first quarter. David?
David J. Turner
Thank you, and good morning. As Grayson mentioned, we are pleased with our first quarter results, which reflect improvement in several areas and solid momentum as we head into the remainder of 2018. Before we get started, it's important to point out that the decision to sell our Insurance business meets the criteria for reporting as discontinued operations at March 31st. My comments this morning will be limited to results from continuing operations, and our earning supplements provides recast historical results that exclude insurance.