Fulton Financial in Lancaster, Pa., reported lower quarterly earnings that reflected the costs of complying with a regulatory order.

The $17.1 billion-asset company's fourth-quarter earnings fell 10% from a year earlier, to $37.9 million. Earnings of 21 cents a share matched the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Fulton disclosed that it incurred nearly $10 million in expenses during the quarter tied to outside services, which it largely attributed to ongoing efforts to improve compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering laws. Four of the company's banks have been hit by regulatory orders for compliance shortcomings.

The increase in outside services offset lower costs elsewhere, including branch closures and reduced salary expense. Overall, noninterest expense rose 1%, to $118 million.

Net interest income fell nearly 4%, to $128 million. Total loans rose 2.5%, to $13.1 billion, but the net interest margin compressed 11 basis points, to 3.31%.

Noninterest income rose 3.4%, to $42.1 million, though the number included $848,000 in securities gains. Services charges and mortgage banking income fell compared to a year earlier.

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