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FIRST NATIONWIDE FINANCIAL POSTS LOSS OF $73 MILLION FOR 1991

 FIRST NATIONWIDE FINANCIAL POSTS LOSS OF $73 MILLION FOR 1991
 SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- First Nationwide Financial Corp. today reported a net loss of $73 million for 1991, compared with net earnings of $52 million for 1990. Fourth-quarter results for 1991 were a net loss of $25 million, compared with a net gain of $19 million for the same period of 1990.
 The company said the 1991 loss was more than accounted for by credit losses primarily in its apartment and commercial real estate loan portfolio. Credit losses rose to $397 million in 1991, up $192 million from the previous year. At Dec. 31, 1991, non-performing loans totalled about $1.4 billion, including about $1 billion of apartment and commercial loans. This compares with total non- performing loans of about $900 million at year-end 1990.
 "1991 was a tough year," declared John M. Devine, First Nationwide's chairman and chief executive officer. "But we made important progress in managing aggressively our apartment and commercial loan portfolio, while improving our capital position and the fundamentals in our ongoing consumer businesses," he noted. "Despite continued uncertainty in the economy, we expect our 1992 results to show a substantial reduction in credit losses."
 In a positive trend, the company's net interest margin widened in 1991. First Nationwide's net interest margin -- net interest income as a percentage of average assets -- was 1.96 percent for 1991, compared with 1.78 percent for 1990, and 1.21 percent in 1989. Operating costs totalled $479 million at year end 1991, down 6 percent from 1990 levels of $510 million, and down more than 22 percent from 1989.
 Expense improvement resulted largely from staff reductions. Staff levels totalled 4,350 at year-end 1991, down 11 percent from 1990, and down 36 percent from 1989.
 First Nationwide Financial's banking subsidiaries are well above federal capital requirements. Compared with core capital requirements of 3 percent, First Nationwide Bank was at 4.5 percent and Columbia Savings was at 6.9 percent on Dec. 31, 1991. Compared with tangible requirements of 1.5 percent and risk-based requirements of 7.2 percent, First Nationwide Bank ended the year with tangible capital of 4.3 percent and risk-based capital of 8.2 percent; Columbia Savings had tangible capital of 6.7 percent and risk-based capital of 43.3 percent.
 Consistent with the company's plans, First Nationwide Financial's assets, including those of its subsidiaries -- First Nationwide Bank and Columbia Savings -- were $23.3 billion, compared with $28.2 billion a year earlier.
 During the 1991 fourth quarter, the company merged separate, but wholly owned, thrift operations in Illinois and Ohio into First Nationwide Bank. Pathway Financial (Chicago) and Cardinal Federal Savings (Cleveland) were merged on Dec. 31. The two thrifts were first acquired by First Nationwide in December 1988. The mergers will reduce operating expenses and simplify regulatory requirements.
 During the year, the company completed staffing of its senior management team with the addition of Jon Christoffersen, formerly president of Visa U.S.A, who joined the company in February as president and chief operating officer.
 The company also added four veteran bankers to manage its computer services, retail banking, commercial real estate, and residential lending operations. The executives and their assignments are Kendall M. Fugate, executive vice president and chief information officer; Peter K. Thomsen, executive vice president, retail banking; Fred Waldeck, executive vice president, commercial real estate; and Linda C. Simmons, executive vice president, residential lending.
 First Nationwide Financial Corp., founded in San Francisco in 1885 as Citizens Building and Loan, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and part of the Ford Financial Services Group. First Nationwide Financial operates 236 retail branches in 11 states and 29 loan offices in eight states.
 -0- 2/13/92
 /CONTACT: Stephen L. Johnson of First Nationwide Financial Corp., 415-904-1155/
 (F) CO: First Nationwide Financial Corp.; Ford Motor Co. ST: California IN: FIN SU: ERN


RM -- SF002 -- 9655 02/13/92 10:44 EST
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Date:Feb 13, 1992
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