1st Maryland earnings set record in '95 $120.2 million attributed to loans, investments

Banking

January 26, 1996|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

First Maryland Bancorp earned a record $120.2 million in 1995, as gains from loans and investments, coupled with a reduced provision for problem loans, drove earnings.

The $10.5 billion-asset banking company, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Allied Irish Banks PLC, earned $31.5 million in the fourth quarter, up 10.5 percent over the comparable

quarter in 1994.

Jeremiah E. Casey, chairman of First Maryland, expects the strong performance to continue. "We are not at a plateau," he said.

Mr. Casey said the company made money on loans and investments rather than securities gains that boosted profits in 1993 and 1994. It also cut expenses by $7.5 million.

First Maryland returned a solid 1.23 percent on average assets, but its 10.83 percent return on average total equity is low by industry standards. Mr. Casey said that was a result of the bank's high capital levels.

"That is purely a byproduct of the fact that we are under-leveraged and Allied Irish doesn't take a dividend," Mr. Casey said.

The company's asset quality remained strong, with less than half a percent of its assets classified as nonperforming.

Assets grew by 15 percent, and deposits and loans were up 6 percent and 11 percent respectively.

First Maryland signed a definitive agreement on Wednesday to acquire 1st Washington Bancorp, a Herndon, Va.-based savings and loan holding company, for $83.5 million cash.

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