A hefty impairment charge on its U.S. operations drove Royal Bank of Canada to its first quarterly loss in 16 years.

Canada's largest lender said Friday that it lost $45.7 million in the three months that ended April 30, its second quarter, largely because of a $915 million writedown on its U.S. business, RBC Bank, which has been reeling from bad loans to home builders in the Southeast.

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