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CENTRAL FIDELITY FINALIZES APPLICATION FOR NATIONAL BANK CHARTER

 RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Central Fidelity Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: CFBS) announced today it has finalized its application with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for a national bank charter for its principal subsidiary, Central Fidelity Bank, effective during the fourth quarter of this year. As part of management's continuous analysis of the bank's loan portfolio and in anticipation of the fragile economy persisting into 1994, the bank has increased its non-performing assets by a net of $23 million to approximately $135 million or 1.5 percent of assets. In addition, certain real estate-related loans and other real estate owned were written down approximately $40 million. These actions were taken as a result of continued weakness in real estate values, especially in the Northern Virginia market area, and to conform with the more rigid application of regulatory standards by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
 Of the loans placed in non-performing status during the quarter, 60 percent of these loans were located in the depressed Northern Virginia market.
 Central Fidelity also announced its sales of $600 million of long- term corporate bonds to reduce its future interest rate risk and to improve liquidity, realizing a gross profit of approximately $50 million.
 "These conservative actions should serve to reduce the bank's vulnerability to problem real estate credits, better stabilize future earnings and will have only a nominal impact on current net income," said Carroll L. Saine, chairman and chief executive officer, Central Fidelity Banks, Inc. "Central Fidelity anticipates reporting the highest net income in its history for the current third quarter, and indications are that 1993 will be our 19th consecutive year of record performance."
 Central Fidelity Banks, Inc., is a Richmond-based bank holding company with $9.1 billion in assets and 230 branch offices throughout the state.
 -0- 9/27/93
 /CONTACT: Lewis N. Miller Jr., president, 804-697-6742, or Peggy Cummings, investor/public relations manager, 804-697-7261, both of Central Fidelity Banks/
 (CFBS)


CO: Central Fidelity Banks, Inc. ST: Virginia IN: FIN SU:

MH-DC -- DC029 -- 6056 09/27/93 16:06 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 27, 1993
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