Plans by Regions Financial Corp. and Capital One Financial Corp. to pare back exposure to the auto sector signal increased pessimism about the health of the consumer as well as the profitability of the sector, analysts said.

"It's another sign of the times," said Christopher Marinac, an analyst at FIG Partners LLC. He said the Federal Reserve Board's decision last week to cut the federal funds rate by 50 basis points will force Regions and Capital One to lower interest rates on such loans.

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