The provision for loan losses was $2.8 million for the third quarter 2012, unchanged from the prior quarter and third quarter 2011. Net loan losses charged against the allowance for loan losses totaled $3.4 million for the third quarter 2012, compared to $3.2 million for the prior quarter and $2.9 million for the third quarter 2011. At September 30, 2012, the allowance for loan losses totaled $31.0 million; nonperforming originated loans totaled $13.5 million; nonperforming purchased FDIC-indemnified loans totaled $20.7 million, net of purchase discounts of $2.8 million; and nonperforming purchased non-indemnified loans totaled $10.1 million, net of purchase discounts of $2.2 million.
Noninterest income for the third quarter 2012 totaled $14.6 million, compared to $13.5 million in the second quarter 2012 and $15.2 million for the third quarter 2011. The decline in second quarter 2012 noninterest income is primarily due to a $1.3 million loss realized from the sale of a collateralized mortgage obligation bond, which reduced net income $750 thousand.
Noninterest expense for the third quarter 2012 totaled $29.3 million, compared to $29.3 million in the prior quarter and $31.4 million in the third quarter 2011. Management is focused on reducing operating expenses over the near-term, primarily professional fees, repossessed loan collateral expenses and other problem loan related costs.
The Company's fully tax-equivalent tax rate was 36 percent in the third quarter 2012 compared to 34 percent in the second quarter 2012 and 37 percent in the third quarter 2011. The decline in tax rate in the second quarter 2012 is attributable to a tax refund from an amended tax return which increased net income $950 thousand.At September 30, 2012, Westamerica Bancorporation's tangible common equity-to-asset ratio was 8.8 percent, assets totaled $4.9 billion and loans outstanding totaled $2.2 billion. Westamerica Bancorporation, through its wholly owned subsidiary Westamerica Bank, operates commercial banking and trust offices throughout Northern and Central California.