Non-interest expenses from continuing operations were $869 million, an increase of $27 million linked quarter or 3 percent. This increase in expenses was primarily driven by higher credit related expenses due to lower net gains realized on held for sale property. Specifically, last quarter credit related expenses benefited from net gains of $26 million compared to $17 million in the third quarter. In addition, marketing expenses were elevated this quarter due to the credit card conversion and related expenses.
Asset quality continued to improve
Asset quality continued to improve in the third quarter. The provision for loan losses totaled $33 million or $229 million less than net charge-offs and was materially consistent from second quarter’s provision of $26 million. Total net charge-offs decreased linked quarter by 1 percent or $3 million to $262 million. The company’s loan loss allowance to non-performing loan coverage ratio was 1.09x and the allowance for loan losses as a percent of loans was 2.74 percent as of September 30, 2012.
Non-performing loans, excluding loans held for sale, totaled $1.9 billion and were down $31 million or 2 percent linked quarter. Seasonal factors impacted inflows of non-performing loans resulting in an increase to $463 million or 47 percent from the second quarter, however inflows were down 39 percent from the prior year. Business Services criticized loans also declined 6 percent in the quarter and are down 30 percent year-over-year.Strong capital and solid liquidity Tier 1 and Tier 1 common 1 capital ratios remained strong, ending the third quarter at an estimated 11.5 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively. The company’s liquidity position at both the bank and the holding company remains solid as well. As of September 30, 2012, the company’s loan-to-deposit ratio was 79 percent. Tangible book value reached $7.02 for the third quarter, an increase of 5 percent over the second quarter. 1 Non-GAAP, refer to pages 8 and 16-19 of the financial supplement to this earnings release