Quality ratings of Maryland thrifts decline slightly as U.S. average rises

December 20, 1992|By David Conn | David Conn,Staff Writer

As the quality of the nation's thrifts improved in the second quarter of this year, those in Maryland deteriorated slightly, according to IDC Financial Publishing Inc.

Maryland's thrifts scored 117 out of a possible 300 in the quarter that ended June 30, down from 123 on Dec. 31, 1991. The U.S. average in the same period was 165, up from 150 at the end of last year.

But officials at several low-rated Maryland thrifts say they have experienced recent changes that were big enough to boost their ratings.

The most dramatic agent of change, however, was the Office of Thrift Supervision, the federal agency that regulates most of the nation's savings and loans.

The OTS has seized three Maryland thrifts since the second quarter: Potomac Savings F. S. B. (Aug. 28); Standard F. S. B. (Oct. 21); and most recently Second National F. S. B. (Dec. 4). All three are being managed by the federal Resolution Trust Corp.

Here are some changes at other thrifts:

* American F. S. B. of Rockville has sold most of its nonperforming assets since the second quarter, according to President Harry Leavy. He said the institution is now in full capital compliance, even with regulations that take effect Dec. 31, and recently passed examinations from the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

* Chevy Chase F. S. B. reached its low point in June, amid a quarter in which it wrote off enough loans to cause a $15.7 million loss, according to Vice Chairman Alexander Boyle. But the company, which is in full capital compliance, turned a profit of $15 million in the fiscal fourth quarter that ended Sept. 30, and a $21 million profit for its fiscal year.

* Citizens Savings F. S. B., based in Silver Spring, earned $650,000 in the third quarter, and $1.8 million for the first nine months. But it probably won't see higher IDC ratings for the third and fourth quarters, acknowledged Chief Financial Officer Robert Wolpert. Citizens has received an extension on its capital requirements until June 30.

* Equitable F. S. B., a mutual savings bank in Wheaton, has entered into an agreement -- and is awaiting regulatory approval -- to convert to a stock institution and be acquired by Federal Trust Corp., a thrift with offices in Jacksonville and Orlando, Fla.

* Greater Atlantic F. S. B. of Rockville has applied to regulators for permission to be acquired by a group of private investors. That deal would bring the company into capital compliance, according to Chief Financial Officer Wayne Janzik.

* Home F. S. B. President Richard Phoebus said: "There has been a significant change [for the better] in our situation." The thrift's capital ratios have improved, he said, although one of the three requirements still has not been met.

The Hagerstown savings bank has reduced its assets, restructured some problem loans and shifted toward less risky assets that require a lower level of capital. The company also has asked the OTS for an extension of its capital requirements until June 30.

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