Camco Financial Corp. of Cambridge, Ohio, said it narrowed its fourth-quarter loss by $4 million from a year earlier, to $11.8 million.

The yearend results were similar: Camco lost $11.2 million in 2009, compared with a loss of $15.3 million in 2008.

Its total assets declined 15.4%, to $846.2 million in the fourth quarter.

"We are not proud of the earning results," Jim Huston, the company's chief executive officer, said in a press release Monday. "But we remain committed to improving the asset quality of our institution, an effort that began this time last year."

Camco's fourth-quarter loan-loss provision rose 81% from a year earlier, to $19.9 million.

The company discovered a fraudulent $2.8 million commercial loan in its Cincinnati market that affected its fourth-quarter results.

Camco's nonperforming assets fell 30%, to $42.5 million, from the third quarter.

Noninterest income rose 50.4%, to $2.4 million, compared with $1.6 million in the previous quarter. The uptick resulted largely from increases in the value of its mortgage servicing rights.

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