Standard & Poor's announced Thursday that it downgraded the debt of Regions Financial Corp.

The Birmingham, Ala., banking company's counterparty credit rating was downgraded to A from A-plus, and its subordinated debt was cut to A-minus from A.

S&P said it based the downgrade on the "gradual change of Regions' financial profile." The company has acquired numerous banks outside its Alabama base and with its recent acquisition of First Commercial Corp., Little Rock, 65% of its assets will be located out of Alabama.

S&P said this would make the company "more vulnerable to changes in economic cycles" than other banks with similar ratings before the downgrade took place. The rating agency said Regions' outlook is stable. About $450 million worth of debt was affected.

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