First Financial Services Corp. in Hendersonville, N.C., reported a $9.9 million fourth-quarter loss, six times the $1.6 million loss it posted in the same period a year earlier.

The $793 million-asset parent company of Mountain 1st Bank and Trust Co. said Monday that its quarterly loss stemmed from an $11 million loan-loss provision, a $6.7 million increase from the fourth quarter of 2008.

The company reported a $19.6 million loss for the full year, compared with earnings of $207,000 in 2008.

The year-end loss was driven by a $29.9 million provision for loan losses in 2009, a 359% increase.

Assets rose 12.1% from a year earlier.

As of Dec. 31, the company's nonperforming assets totaled $34.5 million, or 4.35% of total assets, an increase of 252 basis points from a year earlier.

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