Beneficial Mutual Bancorp Inc. in Philadelphia swung to a $9 million loss in 2010, primarily as a result of higher credit costs.

The $4.9 billion-asset company, which announced results Friday, earned $17.1 million in 2009, or 22 cents a share, compared with a 12-cent loss in 2010. It also reported a $400,000 loss in the fourth quarter, compared with net income of $6.2 million a year earlier.

Beneficial blamed the losses on a higher provision for loan losses, which totaled $8 million in the fourth quarter, and $70.2 million for the year — nearly five times the provision in 2009.

The company said it continued to write down any collateral deficiencies on its commercial real estate loans, resulting in net chargeoffs of $7.6 million for the quarter and $70.7 million for the year.

The allowance for loan losses was flat, at $45.9 million, or 1.6% of total loans.

"Although our financial results improved from the third quarter, credit costs continue to have a significant impact on our business and we expect these costs to remain elevated in 2011," Gerard Cuddy, Beneficial's chief executive, said in a press release.

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