E-Trade Financial Corp.'s third-quarter loss widened on charges related to a vital debt exchange it completed. However, the online broker continued to show signs of improving credit trends.

The New York company said its banking unit's loan-loss provision fell to $347 million, down one-third from a year ago. The decline was the fourth straight quarterly drop in loss provisions at E-Trade, which has been hurt by heavy losses in its bank unit's mortgage portfolio.

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