BankAtlantic Raises Reserve

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- BankAtlantic, a Federal Savings Bank, said it has increased its loan-loss provision for the third quarter after an investigation of its consumer loan portfolio indicated fraud on the part of some contractors and borrowers.

The south Florida thrift, which has $1.5 billion in assets, set aside $8.6 million in the latest quarter, compared with $3.1 million a year earlier. It attributed the increase to the probe of home improvement loans bought from 1987 to 1990 from several dealers.

Liability Question

BankAtlantic said it notified its fidelity bond carrier and appropriate authorities about its discoveries and expects any losses to be covered by the bond. But the carrier has not acknowledged liability.

The thrift had a third-quarter net loss of $4.4 million, or $1.14 a share, compared with a gain a year earlier of $148,000, or 4 cents a share.

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