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Webster Reports Less Losses in Q1
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Waterbury-based Webster Bank saw its losses narrow in the first quarter. The bank says it’s seeing fewer problems with bad loans, and is increasing its lending to small businesses. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Webster Financial Corporation lost $6.1 million in the first quarter, or 8 cents a share. That’s down sharply from losses of 41 cents a share in the first quarter of 2009. It’s also much better than analysts on Wall Street were expecting. While the number of loans written off as uncollectible rose more than 30% from that year ago period, it is down from the immediately preceding quarter, a trend the bank thinks will continue.

Webster says it’s decreased its provisions for loan losses by some 35%. The bank says loans to small businesses were up some 60%. Webster had previously announced that it’s making available $850 million this year in business loans. Investors were impressed – Webster’s stock rose 81 cents, or 4% by the close Thursday.

For WNPR, I'm Harriet Jones.