First Mariner Bancorp (FMAR) in Baltimore swung to a loss as professional fees rose and mortgage banking income cratered.

The $1.2 billion-asset company reported a second-quarter loss of $1.5 million, after recording a profit of $5.7 million in the year-earlier quarter, it announced Wednesday. Noninterest expense rose by 22%, or $3.2 million, to $18.2 million, as professional service fees rose 158%, to $1.9 million, due to costs associated with the company's efforts to raise capital. Higher mortgage staffing and the launch of a new marketing campaign also contributed to the increase in overhead.

"Our results this quarter were dampened by rising long-term interest rates, which slowed refinancings and overall revenue from our mortgage banking operations as compared to the second quarter of 2012," Mark Keidel, First Mariner's interim chief executive, said in a news release. "Additionally, we experienced higher operating expenses for professional services and expenses associated with efforts to raise capital."

Noninterest income dropped 20%, to $10.3 million, as mortgage banking revenue dropped by more than half, to $5.4 million from $11.1 million. Higher long-term interest rates decreased First Mariner's profit margin on the loans it sold, the company said.

Net interest income fell 13%, to $6.4 million, as First Mariner's net interest margin dropped by 18 basis points, to 2.89%. Average loan balance fell 12%, to $589,530.

First Mariner recorded no provision for loan losses, after making a provision of $428,000 in the second quarter of 2012. Net chargeoffs were $1.3 million, compared to a net recovery of $429,000 in the same period of 2012.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. lifted a regulatory order against First Mariner in April.

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