FNB United (FNBN) in Asheboro, N.C., narrowed its loss in the third quarter as it continued to unload problem assets.

The $2.2 billion-asset company said Monday that it lost $4.7 million in the quarter, compared to a loss of $18.1 million in the second quarter and a loss of $13.9 million in last year's second quarter.

The parent of CommunityOne Bank in Asheboro and Bank of Granite in Granite Falls, N.C, largely attributed the improved results to a 31% decline in problem assets from the same period last year, to $167 million. Record mortgage originations and sales during the quarter also helped improve its overall performance.

CommunityOne and Bank of Granite have struggled with problem loans in recent years, but a $310 million investment late last year from the Carlyle Group (CG) and Oak Hill Capital Partners put them on firmer footing. FNB United used a portion of the proceeds to acquire Bank of Granite.

In an investor presentation posted on its website, the company said it is positioning itself for the future by hiring new bankers in key areas and reducing overhead. The company recently closed two branches and is in the midst of reviewing its third-party vendor expenses.

FNB United's shares closed at $11.22 Wednesday, up 2.5% from Tuesday's closing price.

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