Regions Financial Corp's board is investigating if executives delayed public disclosure of loans that were going bad during the financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The audit committee of the Birmingham, Alabama-based bank is said to have begun the probe after the Federal Reserve expressed concerns about past practices at the bank, the paper said.

Investigators are looking at so-called extend-and-pretend cases, where a bank gives a borrower more time and delays reclassifying a souring loan, the paper reported.

The Journal also said that the investigation will look into 'troubled-debt restructurings,' where a bank breaks up a nonperforming loan and labels a portion of it as performing.

Regions Financial did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters seeking comment.

The Journal also reported that the SEC probe on Morgan Keegan & Co, the investment-bank unit of Regions, on whether it defrauded investors in subprime securities could likely result in a settlement.

In April 2010, U.S. regulators charged Morgan Keegan and two employees with fraud for inflating the value of subprime mortgages and other risky debt in mutual funds, resulting in more than $1 billion of investor losses.

(Reporting by Vaishnavi Bala in Bangalore; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)