Our total net earnings were down $8,696 or 94%, to $534 for the year ended December 31, 2012, primarily affected by the absence of significant revenue from large-volume transactions which had contributed to record results in 2011. Our total earnings per share also decreased by $1.01 or 94%, to $0.06 (basic) for the year ended December 31, 2012.
Subsequent to December 31, 2012, we executed a definitive agreement for the sale of the assets of our transfer agent and corporate trust services business to an affiliate of TMX Group Inc. (we announced this "Transaction" today in a separate press release). This Transaction represents the culmination of a strategic review undertaken in 2012 during which we considered options for obtaining capital resources to support further growth in our mortgage business, which we believe offers the best potential returns to our shareholders. By realizing the inherent value of the assets being sold we will immediately improve EFT's regulatory capital position and expect to reduce our need to consider further equity or debt financing over the coming years.
Our mortgage lending and deposit-taking business unit provided a source of growth for the Corporation in a year where our other business units were negatively affected by difficult market conditions. Revenue and net earnings contributed by the mortgage unit increased each quarter in 2012 and mortgages receivable more than doubled to a balance of $198,147 as at December 31, 2012 ($84,780 as at December 31, 2011). Net interest income represents a reliable and recurring revenue stream which increased $3,459 or 260%, to $4,791 year over year, driven by the growth in our mortgage loan portfolio.
Our foreign exchange segment experienced an absence of large-volume transactions in 2012 compared to those which occurred in 2011. These large-volume foreign exchange revenues are associated with our corporate trust services and are included in the Transaction. We also saw a decline in revenue from retail foreign exchange operations, leading to the decision to begin winding down our day-to-day foreign exchange business. This wind-down is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013, at which time our foreign exchange segment will be reclassified as a discontinued operation. Other revenue from our foreign exchange segment decreased 87% by $11,807 to $1,726 for the year ended December 31, 2012.
Our transfer agent and corporate trust segment also experienced a decline in revenue for the financial year ended December 31, 2012 compared to 2011. Persistently difficult capital market conditions that started in the second half of 2011 affected transaction volumes for the transfer agent business and provided limited opportunities for our corporate trust group to act in merger and acquisition transactions. As a result of these factors, revenue from transfer agent and corporate trust decreased by $4,993 or 23%, to $17,169 for the year ended December 31, 2012.
Equity Financial Holdings President & CEO, Paul G. Smith said,
"The decision to sell our transfer agent and corporate trust services business represents the culmination of our strategic review, resulting in our decision to shift our strategy and focus on our mortgage unit. We believe adopting this exclusive focus on our growing business unit - in which we recorded growth in revenue and net earnings each quarter in 2012 - offers greater potential for our company. With the proceeds from the sale of our transfer agent and trust business to TMX Group Inc., we have the opportunity to invest in the future growth of our mortgage business in order to create value for our shareholders."
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