Net interest income, on a taxable equivalent basis, for the first quarter of 2012 was $100.0 million, up $2.8 million from net interest income of $97.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 and essentially flat with net interest income of $100.1 million in the first quarter of 2011. Analyses of the changes in net interest income are included in Tables 8a and 8b.
The net interest margin was 3.06 percent for the first quarter of 2012, a 2 basis point increase from the net interest margin of 3.04 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 and an 18 basis point decrease from 3.24 percent in the first quarter of 2011. The increase in the net interest margin compared to the fourth quarter is largely due to an improving balance sheet mix. The decrease in the net interest margin compared to the first quarter of 2011 was primarily due to higher levels of liquidity and lower yields on loans and investment securities.
Results for the first quarter of 2012 included a provision for credit losses of $0.4 million, or $3.0 million less than net charge-offs. The provision for credit losses during the fourth quarter of 2011 was $2.2 million, or $4.8 million less than net charge-offs. The provision for credit losses of $4.7 million equaled net charge-offs during the first quarter of 2011.Noninterest income was $48.1 million for the first quarter of 2012, an increase of $4.7 million compared to noninterest income of $43.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, and a decrease of $5.8 million compared to noninterest income of $53.9 million in the first quarter of 2011. Noninterest income in the first quarter of 2012 included a previously disclosed gain of $3.5 million on the early termination of leveraged leases for two cargo ships and a loss of $1.0 million on the sale and termination of an aircraft lease. There were no significant nonrecurring noninterest income items during the fourth quarter of 2011. Noninterest income in the first quarter of 2011 included net gains of $6.1 million on sales of investment securities. Adjusted for these items, the decrease in noninterest income compared to the first quarter of 2011 is largely due to a reduction in debit card fees, which were $3.0 million lower than the first quarter of 2011.
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