Suffolk Bancorp in Riverhead, N.Y., said Tuesday that is overhauling its lending operations after reporting a big first-quarter loss.

The $1.6 billion-asset company had a first-quarter loss of $12.9 million after posting a profit of $1.5 million for the year-earlier period.

Suffolk's provision of $29.7 million was more than triple that of a year earlier. It attributed the spike to the "absence of recovery and increased weakness in the local economy. It said it plans to hire a chief lending officer, loan administrator and more underwriting staff. It is also reappraising commercial real estate that secures loans of $1 million or more. Suffolk is also planning asset sales to "eliminate unnecessary risk."

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