South Financial Group Inc. said Monday that its board voted unanimously to make H. Lynn Harton its president and chief executive officer.

Mr. Harton was named the $13.6 billion-asset Greenville, S.C., company's interim president and CEO in November, after the unexpected retirement of Mack Whittle.

South Financial lost $319.4 million, or $4.29 a share, in the fourth quarter, due mainly to a $237.6 million impairment charge to show that its Florida banking division is now worth less than its book value and a nearly fourfold rise in its loss provision from a year earlier, to $122.9 million. South Financial also recorded $9.6 million in employee severance costs, including $7.8 million related to Mr. Whittle's retirement.

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.