Nara Bancorp Inc. said Tuesday that it swung to a first-quarter loss of $3.2 million, or 16 cents a share, because of a higher loan-loss provision.

The $2.7 billion-asset Los Angeles company had earned $5.8 million, or 22 cents a share, a year earlier.

Nara said its provision jumped 68% from a year earlier but dropped 44% from the fourth quarter, to $15.7 million.

Nonperforming assets rose by 283% from a year earlier and 76% from the fourth quarter, to $77.3 million. The nonperforming assets made up 2.74% of total assets as of March 31.

Min Kim, Nara's president and chief executive officer, said in a press release that the company is "aggressively" managing problem assets and has allocated more resources to its credit administration department.

This month Nara hired Mark H. Lee as its chief credit officer. He was the deputy chief credit officer at East West Bank previously.

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