Fourth-quarter earnings at Fulton Financial Corp. in Lancaster, Pa., improved from a year earlier in part because of higher mortgage income and a lower loan-loss provision.

Earnings rose 63%, to $31.5 million. The year-earlier quarter included costs tied to participation in the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which the $16.3 billion-asset company exited last year.

The loan-loss provision fell 11%, to $40 million. Fulton's greatest fluctuation was in mortgage banking income, which jumped 88% from a year earlier, to $8.9 million. Marketing expenses also rose, increasing 69% to $4.5 million.

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