Webster Financial Corp. of Waterbury, Conn., said Thursday that it recorded a $6.1 million first-quarter loss after repaying $100 million of a $400 million investment from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

For the year-earlier period, the $18 billion-asset company reported a $21.5 million loss. Webster said that before taxes and its loan-loss provision it would have earned $57 million in the 2010 first quarter. It also reduced its provision to $43 million from $67 million in the previous quarter. Net chargeoffs declined quarter over quarter to $40.3 million from $51.8 million.

Nonperforming loans declined 6.5% from Dec. 31, to $348.8 million. The credit-quality improvement was "the result of reduced inflow of new nonaccrual loans and higher levels of cures and exits from nonperforming status," Jerry Plush, Webster's chief financial officer, said in a press release.

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