For the three months ended December 31, 2012, the Company recognized $4.4 million in non-interest income, compared to non-interest income of $2.5 million for the three months ended December 31, 2011, and $4.7 million for the sequential quarter. Included in the fourth quarter 2012 non-interest income is a gain on sale of securities of $1.5 million, while the fourth quarter of 2011 did not include a gain or loss on sale of securities, and the sequential quarter included a gain of $2.1 million on sale of securities. The Company recognized non-interest income of $17.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2012, compared to non-interest income of $8.1 million for the same period in 2011. For 2012, non-interest income included a gain on sale of securities of $7.4 million, while non-interest income for the same period in 2011 included an impairment loss on securities of $732 thousand, which was partially offset by a gain on sale of securities of $503 thousand and a bank-owned life insurance death benefit of $361 thousand.
Fees and net gains on loans held-for-sale in the fourth quarter of 2012, increased sequentially by $449 thousand, or 40.0%. The increase can be primarily attributed to higher volume of mortgage loans originated for sale in the secondary market, which was driven by lower interest rates on mortgage products during 2012. For 2012, fees and net gains on loans held-for-sale increased $1.6 million, or 53.5%, compared to the same period in 2011. Mortgage loans held-for sale totaling $210.1 million were closed in the year ended 2012, as compared to $155.2 million to the same period for 2011.
Non-Interest ExpenseNon-interest expense increased approximately $991 thousand, or 6.3%, from $15.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, to $16.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. Sequentially, non-interest expense increased $1.6 million, or 10.7%, from $15.2 million for the third quarter of 2012. The majority of the year-over-year increase was an increase of $1.5 million on other real estate owned losses and expenses, and $157 thousand increase in franchise tax expense, partially offset by reductions of $344 thousand and $268 thousand in FDIC insurance and other operating expenses, respectively. The sequential increase in non-interest expense was primarily driven by an increase of $1.5 million on other real estate owned losses and expenses.