Compared with third quarter 2012, non-interest income rose 29% and is primarily attributed to a $2.8 million net gain on sales of SBA loans. Given the historic high premiums currently available in the market, the Company sold $30.8 million in SBA loans during fourth quarter 2012 and recorded a net gain on sale of $2.8 million. The Company said it continues to consider capital, liquidity and other factors in determining on a quarterly basis whether to sell or hold such SBA loans, but that it expected to sell SBA loans so long as the premiums available in the market remain near historic highs.
Non-interest Expense. Total non-interest expense for fourth quarter 2012 decreased 4% to $30.6 million from fourth quarter 2011, but increased 6% when compared with preceding third quarter 2012.
The various non-interest expense items are summarized in the following table:
|Three Months Ended|
|Salaries and employee benefits||$||14,143||$||9,193||54||%||$||13,611||4||%|
|Furniture and equipment||1,482||1,180||26||%||1,495||(1||)%|
|Advertising and marketing||934||959||(3||)%||1,159||(19||)%|
|Data processing and communications||1,521||1,194||27||%||1,659||(8||)%|
|Merger and integration expenses||505||3,248||(84||)%||183||176||%|
|Total non-interest expense||$||30,609||$||31,836||(4||)%||$||28,770||6||%|
Salaries and benefits expense for fourth quarter 2012 increased 54% over fourth quarter 2011, due in large part to the combined operations as BBCN for a full quarter in 2012. The number of full time equivalent employees (FTEs) was 704, 684 and 678 as of December 31, 2012, September 30, 2012, and December 31, 2011, respectively. The adjusted number of FTEs, as of the merger closing date of November 30, 2011, was 690. Compared with preceding third quarter 2012, salaries and benefits expense increased 4%.