When compared to the third quarter of 2012 and the fourth quarter of 2011, average loans declined by $23.0 million and $128.4 million, respectively. Most loan categories have experienced declines with the reduction primarily in the commercial real estate and residential categories. Our core loan portfolio continues to be impacted by normal amortization and a higher level of payoffs that have outpaced our new loan production. New loan production continues to be impacted by weak loan demand attributable to the trend toward consumers and businesses deleveraging, the lack of consumer confidence, and a persistently sluggish economy.
The resolution of problem loans (which has the effect of lowering the loan portfolio as loans are either charged off or transferred to other real estate owned "OREO") also contributed to the overall decline. During the fourth quarter of 2012, loan charge-offs and loans transferred to OREO accounted for $13.7 million. This more than offset the net reduction in total loans of $12.0 million, which occurred in the fourth quarter of 2012. During the full year 2012, loan resolution accounted for $45.0 million, or 42%, of the net reduction in loans of $107.4 million 1.
Average total deposits were $2.051 billion for the fourth quarter of 2012, a decrease of $24.4 million, or 1.2%, from the third quarter of 2012 and higher by $18.1 million, or 0.9%, over the fourth quarter of 2011. The decrease in deposits when compared to the third quarter of 2012 resulted from lower public funds, money markets and certificates of deposit, partially offset by growth in noninterest bearing accounts and regular savings. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, the increase was driven primarily by higher public fund balances, savings and noninterest bearing deposits. This was partially offset by a reduction of certificates of deposit. The seasonal low in public fund balances occurred during the fourth quarter and these balances are anticipated to increase through the first quarter of 2013.
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