James Madison plans to merge 3 subsidiaries


James Madison Ltd., a beleaguered bank holding company in Washington, said its board had voted to merge three of its banking subsidiaries under the single banner of Madison National Bank.

The company, which has replaced most of its senior executives in past months, said that under the plan the Madison Bank of Maryland and the United National Bank of Washington would become part of Madison National.

"In keeping with the need of this organization to remain competitive in the Washington, D.C., market," Michael F. Ryan, who was elected chairman and chief executive Feb. 25, said, "I believe this merger is the appropriate response to current economic and regulatory challenges facing each institution."

Mr. Ryan said the merger represented the first in a series of steps he planned to cut costs, "strengthen staffing and increase efficiencies and economies of scale throughout the company."

In a related move, the holding company said that it had signed a letter of intent to sell some assets and transfer certain deposits of United National Bank to a "community-based group representing minority interests in Washington."

James Madison, with $892 million in assets last Sept. 30, lost $16.3 million, or $1.61 a share, during the third quarter and has been operating under supervisory agreements with federal regulators.

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