At this time, I would like to turn the conference call over to Phil Flynn, President and CEO, for opening remarks. Please go ahead sir.
Thanks and good afternoon, welcome to our second quarter conference call. Joining me today are Chris Niles, our Chief Financial Officer and Scott Hickey, our Chief Credit Officer. Highlights from the quarter are outlined on slide two. In general, this quarter's performance was in line with our expectations and was marked by improving fundamental trends. We continue to be focused on building upon the strength of our franchise and capitalizing on opportunities to grow our business. We reported net income available to common shareholders of $42 million in the second quarter or $0.24 a share and that compares to net income of 26 million or $0.15 a share a year ago. Return on Tier 1 common equity for the quarter was 9.26% and that’s up from a little over 6% a year ago. Loan balances grew by $445 million, a 3% during the quarter with all of the net growth coming from our commercial portfolios. Total loans have grown by 1.6 billion or 12% from a year ago.
Net interest income was essentially flat compared to last quarter and year-end, despite the continuing record lower rate environment, net interest margin was down just 1 basis point compared to the first quarter.
We continue to see steady improvement in credit quality metrics and recorded zero provision for loan loss in this quarter as the portfolio continues to improve. And during the quarter, we repurchased $30 million worth of common stock and we redeemed $25 million of trust preferred securities as we remain focused on deploying our capital in a disciplined manner. Even after these two transactions, our Tier 1 common equity ratio remains strong at 12.04%.