First Mariner Bancorp Inc. in Baltimore said that its fourth-quarter loss narrowed slightly from a year earlier.

The company said late Monday that it lost $3.9 million in the fourth quarter compared to $33.9 million a year earlier. The main reason First Mariner showed improvement was because the fourth quarter of 2010 included a $29.9 million loss tied to deferred tax assets.

Fundamentals remained concerning. Net interest income fell 6.7% from a year earlier, to $7.6 million. The loan-loss provision increased 83% from a year earlier, to $2.8 million. Expenses also increased by nearly $2 million for the year, after the company spent more on professional fees as it tried to raise capital and handle loan workouts.

The $1.2 billion-asset company reported that noninterest income rose 37% from a year earlier, to $7.7 million, because of an increase in mortgage banking revenue.

Edwin Hale stepped down as the company's chairman and chief executive on Dec. 22, as part of a recapitalization agreement New York hedge fund Priam Capital. The Priam investment has been pending since it was announced in April, because of First Mariner's inability to raise another $123.6 million from other sources.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.