First Maryland's earnings grow 11 percent in quarter But company seeks better growth in assets and loans

July 18, 1996|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

A jump in trust revenues and fees charged to consumers on their deposit accounts helped push First Maryland Bancorp's earnings up 11 percent in the second quarter to $32.5 million, the company said yesterday.

First Maryland earned $62.6 million for the first half of the year, up 8.6 percent from the $57.7 million it earned in the first six months of 1995.

But, unlike other large banks that have operations in Baltimore, First Maryland's assets and loans barely budged.

"Everyone else has been growing," said Alex Hart, a banking analyst with Ferris, Baker Watts Inc. "It is a bit troubling. You would hope that being one of the market's biggest banks that it would be able to show growth."

The bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dublin-based Allied Irish Banks PLC, said total loans were up $100 million, from $5.9 billion in the first six months of 1995 to $6 billion for the first half of 1996.

But that figure was $100 million lower than the $6.1 billion the bank had in outstanding loans as of Dec. 31, 1995.

First Maryland said its loan business actually grew by 3.8 percent since the beginning of the year, when adjusted for a sale of an additional $355 million in unpaid credit card balances, known as receivables, to investors in April.

Assets were flat at $9.8 billion for the first half of the year in 1996, compared with the 1995 figure, but they were down from $10.5 billion as of Dec. 31, 1995.

The bank's earnings were boosted by products and services sold to customers, which brought in $53 million in the June quarter, up 11.3 percent from the same period in 1995.

Fees charged to consumers on deposit accounts grew to $19.6 million in the quarter, up 8.9 percent from the 1995 quarter.

Income from trust operations reached $6.6 million, up 27 percent from the same period in 1995.

First Maryland's deposits grew to $6.9 billion in the first half of the year, up less than 1 percent from the first half of 1995, but they were down from $7 billion on Dec. 31, 1995.

"They are going to have to expand," Hart said. "Clearly these [deposit and loan] numbers do not reflect expansion. It is disappointing when the competition is growing and you're not."

First Maryland's objective is to add from $5 billion to $8 billion in assets in 1996 and 1997. Earlier this week, the bank completed its acquisition of 1st Washington Bancorp., which is based in Herndon, Va., and has $810 million in assets. Last month, it acquired Zirkin-Cutler Inc., a Washington-based investment management firm.

Pub Date: 7/18/96

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