Net interest and dividend income decreased by $0.9 million to $10.1 million in Q3-10 from $11.0 million in Q3-09, reflecting the planned reduction in the size of our balance sheet, partially offset by an improved net interest margin. The margin increased to 1.98% in Q3-10 from 1.86% in Q3-09 primarily due to the effect of lower rates paid on deposits and the repayment of higher cost borrowings. The positive effect of these items was partially offset primarily by calls of higher yielding U.S. government agency security investments (coupled with reinvestment of the proceeds into similar securities with lower interest rates). The yield on average interest-earning assets decreased by 28 basis points to 4.96% in Q3-10, from 5.24% in Q3-09. The average cost of funds decreased at a faster pace by 60 basis points to 3.15% in Q3-10, from 3.75% in Q3-09. In Q3-10, average loans outstanding decreased by $352 million from Q3-09, while average interest-bearing deposits and borrowed funds decreased by $178 million and $18 million, respectively, from Q3-09. The Company's loan portfolio had an average yield of 6.42% in Q3-10.
Total assets at September 30, 2010 decreased to $2.10 billion from $2.40 billion at December 31, 2009, primarily reflecting a decrease in loans receivable and security investments, partially offset by an increase in the deferred tax asset.
Total loans receivable, net of unearned fees, amounted to $1.36 billion at September 30, 2010, a $323 million decrease from $1.68 billion at December 31, 2009. The decrease was due to an aggregate of $229 million of principal reductions resulting from the bulk sale completed in the second quarter of 2010 and other principal repayments, $41 million of loans transferred to real estate owned and $99 million of loan chargeoffs, partially offset by $46 million of new loan originations. The Company does not own or originate construction/development loans. Total securities held to maturity decreased by $21.0 million to $613.8 million at September 30, 2010 from $634.8 million at December 31, 2009, primarily due to calls exceeding new purchases. The securities portfolio is comprised mainly of U.S. government agency securities. At September 30, 2010, the Company had a net deferred tax asset totaling $47.8 million, of which $29 million related to an unused gross operating loss carryforward of $67 million generated from the previously reported May 2010 bulk sale of nonperforming and underperforming assets.