A regional bank has ventured into asset-backed securitization, long the turf of credit card specialists and the very largest banks.

Last week First Commerce Corp., a New Orleans banking company with $9.3 billion of assets, completed its first-ever securitization. The $280.5 million offering, backed by credit card receivables, was led by Merrill Lynch & Co. and rated AAA by Moody's Investors Service.

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