During the first quarter, we recorded a provision for loan losses of $574 thousand compared to $15.7 million for the previous quarter and $516 thousand for the first quarter of 2009. The provision recorded in the 2010 first quarter reflects a $560 thousand increase in specific loss allocation on impaired loans and a $14 thousand increase in the general valuation allowance.
Non-interest income for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 totaled $166 thousand compared to $778 thousand, for the fourth quarter and $296 thousand for the first quarter of 2009. During the fourth quarter of 2009, we recognized $591 thousand of income from a grant from the Community Development Financial Institution. The decrease from the first quarter of 2009 was primarily due to a reduction in loan and retail banking fees of $84 thousand, as well as higher valuation allowance on real estate owned (“REO”).
Non-interest expense for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 totaled $3.4 million compared to $2.8 million for both the previous quarter and the first quarter of 2009. The increases were mostly due to higher compensation and benefits expense, primarily reflecting a lower amount of salaries that were deferred in the 2010 first quarter as a result of decreased loan origination volume, higher premiums for FDIC insurance and higher expenses for professional services. Despite the increase, the Company’s efficiency ratio improved to 60.41% in the first quarter of 2010 compared to 64.02% in the comparable quarter last year.
Balance Sheet SummaryTotal assets were $528.9 million at March 31, 2010, which represented an increase of $7.8 million from December 31, 2009. Cash and cash equivalents increased by approximately $10 million and the loan portfolio increased by approximately $2.4 million from December 31, 2009. Loan originations for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 totaled $10.9 million compared to $16.7 million for the previous quarter and $39.4 million for the comparable quarter in 2009. Loan repayments for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 totaled $7.5 million compared to $7.2 million for the previous quarter and $11.8 million for the first quarter in 2009.