The Company recorded a provision for loan losses of $141,000 during the first quarter of 2013 compared to $55,000 during the first quarter of 2012. Our allowance for loan losses was $2.1 and $1.7 million, respectively, at March 31, 2013, and 2012. As of the preceding period ending dates, our allowance for loan losses was 0.89% and 0.85% of total loans receivable. At March 31, 2013, total non-performing loans were $1.3 million, or 0.58% of total loans, and total non-performing assets were $1.9 million, or 0.62% of total assets.
Non-interest income for the first quarter of 2013 was $497,000, an increase of $223,000 from the first quarter of 2012. Our customer service fees, which are primarily comprised of fees earned on transaction accounts, loan servicing fees, and brokered loan commissions, were $238,000 during the first quarter of 2013, an increase of $98,000 from the comparable 2012 period. Gains on the sale of mortgage loans were $181,000 during the first quarter of 2013 compared to $109,000 during the first quarter of 2012. Other non-interest income was $78,000 during the three month period ended March 31, 2013, an increase of $53,000 compared to the three month period ended March 31, 2012. This increase in other non-interest income was primarily due to a $59,000 gain on an equity investment in a small business investment company which was realized during the first quarter of 2013. There was no such gain realized during the first quarter of 2012.
Total non-interest expense was $2.0 million for the first quarter of 2013, an increase of $173,000 compared to the first quarter of 2012. Salaries and employee benefits expense increased by $50,000 and occupancy expense increased by $40,000 during the first quarter of 2013 compared to the first quarter of 2012 due primarily to the staffing and operating expenses associated with the opening of our new branch office in the second quarter of 2012. The Louisiana bank shares tax was $57,000 and $58,000, respectively, and our FDIC deposit insurance premiums were $38,000 and $37,000, respectively, for the three month periods ended March 31, 2013, and March 31, 2012. The net cost associated with our OREO operations was $18,000 during the first quarter of 2013 compared to $38,000 during the first quarter of 2012. Advertising expense increased by $50,000 to $98,000 during the first three months of 2013 compared to the first three months of 2012, due to promotional efforts related to the development of our checking account products. Other non-interest expenses were $253,000 for the first quarter of 2013, and $200,000 for the first quarter of 2012.
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