South Financial Group Inc. in Greenville, S.C., said late Tuesday that it lost $319.4 million, or $4.29 a share, in the fourth quarter, due mainly to a $237.6 million pretax goodwill impairment charge to show that its Florida banking division is now worth less than its book value and a nearly fourfold rise in its loss provision from a year earlier, at $122.9 million.

The $18.8 billion-asset South Financial also recorded $9.6 million in employee severance costs, including $7.8 million related to the abrupt retirement in October of Mack I. Whittle Jr., the former chairman and chief executive.

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.