Net interest income in the second quarter of 2012 increased 6.6%, to $57.8 million, from the prior year quarter, the result of a $647.8 million increase in average interest-earning assets, comprised of an additional $590 million of investment securities (including cash equivalents) and a 1.7% increase in average loans. On a linked quarter basis loans grew $100.9 million, or 2.9%, with favorable results experienced in all portfolios (consumer installment products, consumer mortgage, and business lending). The Company’s net interest margin of 3.96% for the quarter was consistent with the first quarter of this year, and 17 basis points lower than the second quarter of 2011. Quarterly net interest income generation reflected the continuation of the pre-investing of a portion of the net liquidity received from the branch acquisition principally in US Treasury and other high-quality government securities. This pre-investing initiative began late in the first quarter of 2012.
Second quarter non-interest income increased $0.9 million to $23.7 million compared with second quarter 2011, reflecting increased benefits administration and consulting fees, higher deposit services fees, increased wealth management revenues offset somewhat by lower mortgage banking revenues. The employee benefits administration and consulting revenues were up 10.3% compared to second quarter 2011, principally from the December 2011 acquisition of Metro New York based, CAI Benefits (CAI). Wealth management fees were up $0.3 million, or 11.5% over second quarter 2011, driven by solid gains in trust services and asset management. Mortgage banking revenues of $0.2 million for the quarter were almost entirely from servicing fees, reflective of the decision to continue to hold a majority of the Company’s mortgage originations in portfolio. Deposit service fees of $11.0 million were up $0.5 million, or 5.2% from second quarter of 2011, and seasonally higher than the first quarter of 2012.
Second quarter core (excluding acquisition expenses) operating expenses of $49.2 million, increased $1.7 million over the second quarter of 2011, and included the recurring operating expenses of CAI. On a linked quarter basis operating expenses were essentially flat, with seasonally lower employee benefits and occupancy expenses offsetting higher business development and marketing costs.