First Md. and Loyola report record profits


The state's second-largest bank holding company, First Maryland Bancorp, and one of the Maryland's largest thrifts, Loyola Capital Corp., today reported record profits for 1991. Loyola Capital, parent of Loyola Federal Savings and Loan, also announced more good news: the company's first quarterly dividend.

Another bank holding company, Signet Banking Corp., yesterday announced it lost $51.7 million in the fourth quarter, bringing its annual loss to $25.7 million. Signet's earnings were hurt by a $165 million addition to loan loss reserves.

First Maryland, the parent of First National Bank of Maryland, earned $75.1 million for the year, a 72.4 percent increase over the $43.5 million 1990 net income -- the highest level of profits in the company's 186-year history.

In the fourth quarter, the bank holding company earned $23.9 million, compared to $1.5 million for the final quarter of 1990.

The bank attributed the higher earnings to strong growth in fee income, improved funding costs and investment securities gains. First Maryland, which has assets of $8.9 billion, is owned by Allied Irish Banks PLC of Dublin, Ireland.

For Loyola, net income in the fourth quarter was $2.9 million, or 66 cents per share, a 224 percent increase over 1990 fourth quarter earnings of $901,000, or 20 cents per share. Annual net income was $10.6 million, or $2.35 per share, a 51 percent increase over 1990 earnings of $7 million, or $1.49 per share.

Loyola said it would issue its first quarterly dividend since becoming a publicly traded company in December 1986. The 10-cent a share dividend is payable March 31 to holders of record at the close of business on March 16.

Loyola's dividend will be welcome news to many shareholders who have complained for years that they have received little compensation for their investment.

"This is hopefully the beginning of a routine," said James V. McAveney, executive vice president of Loyola Capital.

Loyola's Chairman Joseph W. Mosmiller, said that the board's decision to begin a dividend reflects the corporation's strong capital position and confidence in its prospects.

Loyola has total assets of $2 billion.

Signet's loss was the result of a $165 million addition to loan loss reserves, which it had announced in December. The Richmond, Va., bank holding company, which owns Signet Bank/Maryland, also said it plans to sell a quarter of its bad real estate assets this year.

The extra loan loss cushion caused the company to lose $1.91 a share, in the last three months of 1991.

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