The provision for loan losses was $2.8 million for the fourth quarter 2012, unchanged from the prior quarter and fourth quarter 2011. Net loan losses charged against the allowance for loan losses totaled $3.5 million for the fourth quarter 2012, compared to $3.4 million for the prior quarter and $3.1 million for the fourth quarter 2011. At December 31, 2012, the allowance for loan losses totaled $30.2 million; nonperforming originated loans totaled $12.2 million; nonperforming purchased FDIC-indemnified loans totaled $13.2 million, net of purchase discounts of $1.9 million; and nonperforming purchased non-indemnified loans totaled $7.5 million, net of purchase discounts of $2.0 million.
Noninterest income for the fourth quarter 2012 totaled $14.2 million, compared to $14.6 million in the third quarter 2012 and $14.9 million for the fourth quarter 2011.
Noninterest expense for the fourth quarter 2012 totaled $28.2 million, compared to $29.3 million in the prior quarter and $30.7 million in the fourth 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. Expenses related to repossessed loan collateral in the fourth quarter 2012 were lower by $357 thousand and $301 thousand compared to the third quarter 2012 and fourth quarter 2011, respectively. Professional fees were $553 thousand lower in the fourth quarter 2012 compared to the fourth quarter 2011. In addition, personnel related costs have declined primarily due to lower stock based compensation expense and a decline in the number of employees due to attrition.
At December 31, 2012, Westamerica Bancorporation's tangible common equity-to-asset ratio was 8.6 percent, assets totaled $5.0 billion and loans outstanding totaled $2.1 billion. Westamerica Bancorporation, through its wholly owned subsidiary Westamerica Bank, operates commercial banking and trust offices throughout Northern and Central California.Westamerica Bancorporation Web Address: www.westamerica.com FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION: The following appears in accordance with the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: