Capitol Bancorp Ltd., which is trying to harvest capital by selling its unit banks, reported that it was undercapitalized by at least one measure at the end of the first quarter.

The $5.1 billion-asset company, which has headquarters in Lansing, Mich., and Phoenix, said Thursday that its leverage ratio was 3.23% as of March 31, leaving it undercapitalized. It was still adequately capitalized on a total risk-based and Tier 1 risk-based basis.

Capitol reported that its first-quarter loss widened by 131% from a year earlier, to $47.9 million. In the past year the company has embarked on a divestiture program to shed banks and consolidate others to preserve and build capital.

It has announced the divestiture of 13 banks in the past year, with 10 of those deals pending. If all of the deals close, Capitol will reduce its assets by $700 million and net $50 million in capital.

That additional capital would help the company combat rising nonperforming assets, which made up 8.97% of total assets as of March 31.

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