Fewer loan losses and higher fee income helped Carver Bancorp (CARV) in New York narrow its loss in the company's fiscal second quarter.

The $638 million-asset company lost $136,000 in the quarter, compared with a loss of $9.5 million a year earlier, Carver said late Tuesday.

Net interest income fell 14% from a year earlier, to $4.8 million, primarily as the result of a decrease in loans and lower yields. The net interest margin compressed by 19 basis points from a year earlier, to 3.19%.

Noninterest income rose 189% from a year earlier, to $2.4 million, because of fees earned from deposits and a new markets tax credit transaction. Noninterest expense decreased 10.5% from a year earlier, to $6.8 million.

The company recorded a $560,000 loan-loss provision in its second quarter, compared with $7 million a year earlier. Nonperforming loans as a percentage of total assets fell to 10% in the quarter, down from 17.5% a year earlier.

"Returning our loan performance metrics to industry standards and substantially increasing our revenues remain our two core priorities," Deborah Wright, Carver's chief executive, said in a press release. "We are pleased to report that our financial performance continued to strengthen over the quarter, as we achieved our best results for any period over the prior three fiscal years."

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