Dec. 31 — Regions Financial Corp. ended talks to sell its Morgan Keegan brokerage to Stifel Financial Corp., two people with direct knowledge of discussions said.

The companies failed to reach agreement over the terms of a deal, said the people, who declined to be identified because the negotiations are private. Birmingham, Alabama-based Regions has also been in talks with Raymond James Financial Inc., people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.

Regions is seeking a buyer for Memphis, Tennessee-based Morgan Keegan to improve capital and eventually repay a $3.5 billion U.S. bailout, the largest still outstanding for any institution under the Treasury's bank-rescue program.

Morgan Keegan has 1,200 financial advisers to Raymond James's 5,100. Stifel has about 2,000. A period of exclusive negotiations with Stifel, based in St. Louis, had expired, allowing Raymond James to revive discussions, two people said earlier this month.

Regions previously had been in talks with two groups of buyout firms, one comprising Carlyle Group and Blackstone Group LP, and the other made up of Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Aquiline Capital Partners LLC.

Evelyn Mitchell, a spokeswoman for Regions, declined to comment. Spokeswomen for St. Petersburg, Florida-based Raymond James and Stifel didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.