Non-interest expense

Total non-interest expense for the third quarter of 2012 was $87.0 million, compared to $86.9 million for the second quarter of 2012 and $86.2 million for the third quarter of 2011. Included in non-interest expense are several categories that are outside of the operational control of the Company or depend on changes in market values, including FDIC deposit insurance assessments and gain or loss on other real estate owned, as well as non-operating related expenses such as merger related costs. Excluding these non-controllable, valuation related or non-operating related items, the remaining non-interest expense items totaled $82.6 million for the third quarter of 2012, as compared to $83.8 million for the second quarter of 2012, and $77.3 million for the third quarter of 2011. The slight increase in non-interest expense in the current period over the prior quarter consists primarily of increased salaries and benefits expense related to mortgage loan production, increased losses on non-covered OREO, and a $1.6 million provision for unfunded commitments, partially offset by overall efficiency gains.

During the third quarter of 2012, the Company incurred external loan collection and OREO management expense of $2.3 million, compared to $2.5 million for the second quarter of 2012, and $3.7 million for the third quarter of 2011. Mortgage production related expense was $10.3 million in the third quarter of 2012, compared to $8.7 million in the second quarter of 2012, and $5.3 million for the third quarter of 2011.

Income taxes

The Company recorded a provision for income taxes of $13.6 million in the third quarter of 2012, representing an effective tax rate of 35.1% on an annualized basis. The increase in the effective income tax rate in the third quarter reflects the increased level of pre-tax income and the effects of permanent differences on our taxable income year to date.

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