The Company’s provision for loan losses was $368,000 in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to $536,000 in the fourth quarter of 2011. For the year ended December 31, 2012, provision for loan losses was $1,177,000 compared with $2,227,000 incurred during the prior year. This 47% year over year decrease in provision expense was mainly due to better loan quality and fewer charge-offs as the Bank worked aggressively to resolve problem loans throughout 2012.
Noninterest income for the year ended December 31, 2012 increased $190,000, or approximately 6%, to $3,443,000 from $3,253,000 for 2011. This increase was largely driven by fees generated from the sale of mortgage loans, which increased $177,000 or approximately 39%. For the three months ended December 31, 2012, noninterest income increased $13,000, or approximately 2%, as compared to the same period of 2011, primarily due to higher levels of fee income generated from the sale of mortgage loans and investment products.
Noninterest expense for the year ended December 31, 2012 increased $366,000, or approximately 3%, compared to 2011. For the three months ended December 31, 2012, noninterest expense decreased $14,000, or less than 1%, compared to the same period of 2011. The annual increase in noninterest expense is attributed primarily to increased expenses and losses associated with foreclosures that occurred in conjunction with the Bank’s credit quality improvement strategy and increased advertising expenses as the Bank sought to expand visibility and brand recognition.
Total assets as of December 31, 2012 were $348,694,000, up approximately 2% from $342,484,000 as of December 31, 2011. The principal components of the Company’s assets as of year end were $273,672,000 in net loans, $35,790,000 in cash and cash equivalents and $22,206,000 in securities. During 2012, net loans increased approximately 2.5% or $6,594,000 from $267,123,000 as of December 31, 2011, while securities decreased approximately 10% or $2,563,000 from $24,769,000.