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Regions Bank Taps Channing D. Thornton to Lead Inclusive Lending Efforts; Earl Connell to Lead Consumer Banking in High-Growth Florida Markets

Leadership roles enhance companywide focus on equal mortgage access, promote strategic growth in high-profile Florida markets.

Regions Bank on Monday announced the promotion of Channing D. Thornton to serve as community market relationship process executive coordinating fair lending activities throughout Regions’ 15-state retail banking footprint in the Southeast, the Midwest, and Texas.

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Channing Thornton, left, will further enhance Regions Bank’s companywide, holistic approach to fair lending. Earl Connell, right, will succeed Thornton as consumer banking executive along the eastern half of the Florida peninsula. (Photo: Business Wire)

Channing Thornton, left, will further enhance Regions Bank’s companywide, holistic approach to fair lending. Earl Connell, right, will succeed Thornton as consumer banking executive along the eastern half of the Florida peninsula. (Photo: Business Wire)

Thornton joined Regions in 1999 as a branch manager in Brandon, Florida. For the past 10 years, he served as consumer banking executive and most recently led branch-banking teams at more than 100 Regions locations across eastern Florida from Miami to Jacksonville, as well as Orlando. In his new role, Thornton will further enhance the bank’s holistic approach to fair lending. Specifically, Thornton will facilitate ongoing collaboration among Regions’ Community Affairs, Financial Wellness, Mortgage and Consumer Banking associates, who all serve vital roles in the bank’s fair lending strategy.

Thornton will be succeeded as consumer banking executive for Regions along the eastern half of the Florida peninsula by Earl Connell, a veteran of the company who most recently served as consumer banking executive for Regions in Houston, Texas. During Connell’s tenure, Regions significantly grew its presence in Houston, opening and modernizing dozens of branch locations as the company also continued to enhance its digital banking tools. In his new role, Connell will be based in Orlando. Thornton will be based in Tampa.

“Channing Thornton has devoted his career to understanding, anticipating, and responding to the needs of the communities we serve, and we are proud to now have his leadership at an enterprise-wide level to support Regions’ fair lending initiatives across our footprint,” said Scott Peters, head of Consumer Banking for Regions Bank. “Channing has a passion for giving back, offering his insights and experience in ways that create more inclusive prosperity and level the playing field so more people can succeed.

“We are also excited to welcome Earl Connell into his new leadership role guiding Regions’ branch teams throughout several vibrant and growing markets in Florida,” Peters added. “Regions Bank continues to make significant investments in our services, our teams, our locations, our digital solutions, and more. Earl’s leadership was a key factor in Regions’ growth in Houston, and we are confident he will bring that same successful leadership capability to eastern Florida as we reach more people and businesses with high-value financial services.”

Thornton’s role will complement Regions Bank’s strategic approach to community engagement while connecting more people with essential financial services, including creating greater homeownership opportunities.

“Owning a home is the American dream; the more people we can lead toward resources to help them realize that dream, the more we will build economic equality and greater prosperity in our communities,” Thornton said. “Regions has people across the bank who are committed to serving, and I am excited to help us deepen our collaboration and move our communities forward.”

Connell recognized Thornton’s history of leadership for the bank in Florida and said he will continue Thornton’s legacy of strategic, insightful guidance to the company’s branch-banking teams, particularly as markets such as South Florida, Greater Orlando, the First Coast, and more continue to benefit from population and business growth.

In his new role, Connell will lead nearly 700 associates across Regions’ eastern Florida retail branches as they offer guidance and education to customers through Regions360 – the bank’s holistic approach that incorporates all divisions of the company to provide personalized financial solutions.

“Regions Bank has a strong presence in Florida with tremendous opportunities to introduce our brand of customized financial services to more people and businesses as population trends fuel growth across the state,” Connell said. “From Miami to Jacksonville and Orlando and beyond, our customers recognize Regions for providing a seamless customer experience, and Channing Thornton’s leadership to our branch-banking teams has been crucial to earning this reputation. I look forward to working closely with Channing in his new role – and building on the opportunities we have to deepen relationships with customers while reaching new customers as well.”

About Regions Financial Corporation

Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $156 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates more than 1,300 banking offices and approximately 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at

A shared passion for service. A strong commitment to communities. Learn about Channing Thornton’s new role guiding @askRegions’ fair lending – plus Earl Connell’s expanded leadership position as @RegionsNews builds on its growth in #Florida.


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