Superior Bancorp in Birmingham, Ala., said its net loss widened significantly in the second quarter, largely because of a huge boost in its provision for loan losses.

The thrift holding company for Superior Bank said Friday that it lost $53.7 million in the quarter, compared with a net loss of about $5.7 million in the first quarter and nearly the same amount a year earlier.

The much bigger loss was driven by a 452% increase in the provision for loan losses, to $50.4 million.

The $3.4 billion-asset company said the provision brought its loan-loss reserve to 3.2% of total loans. It also reported $3.4 million in losses on other real estate owned.

Superior's nonperforming loans rose to 9.3% of total loans in the second quarter, compared to 7.1% in the first quarter. Most of its nonperforming loans, 70%, were in Florida; 30% were in Alabama.

Though Superior acknowledged in its press release that capital ratios "slipped during the quarter," it said that it is "instituting several initiatives, including a repositioning" of its securities portfolio and a focus on lending to existing customers.

Superior also said it raised $11.4 million in fresh capital during the quarter.

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