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SIGNET BANKING CORPORATION REPORTS SIGNIFICANT INCREASES IN EARNINGS FOR THE YEAR AND FOURTH QUARTER

 RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Signet Banking Corp. (NYSE: SBK) announced 1992 earnings of $109.2 million, or $3.92 per share, for the year and $31.8 million, or $1.13 per share, for the fourth quarter. The comparative 1991 results were losses of $25.7 million, or $.95 per share, and $51.7 million, or $1.91 per share, for the year and fourth quarter, respectively.
 "We are pleased with Signet's 1992 financial performance and the success of our Accelerated Real Estate Asset Reduction Program," said Robert M. Freeman, chairman and chief executive officer. "Signet has reduced non-performing assets by $151 million, or 46 percent, from year- end 1991, and the corporation's total real estate exposure has been reduced by $452 million this year, which exceeded our goal of $400 million. In addition to the benefits received from the significantly lower level of non-performing assets, Signet's performance reflected improved net interest margins, growth in non-interest sources of revenues and expense control."
 The return on assets (ROA) was .98 percent and 1.14 percent for the year and fourth quarter of 1992, respectively, while the return on common stockholders' equity (ROE) was 14.22 percent and 15.60 percent for the same respective periods. Signet's common equity to assets ratio was 6.84 percent at Dec. 31, 1992, up from 6.33 percent at year-end 1991.
 Non-performing assets, which totaled $181.1 million at Dec. 31, 1992, or 3.08 percent of loans and foreclosed properties, declined $61.4 million from the end of the 1992 third quarter and $151.3 million from year-end 1991. The allowance for loan losses amounted to $265.5 million, or 4.57 percent of loans, and represented 228 percent of non-performing loans and 147 percent of total non-performing assets.
 Net interest income for the entire year and fourth quarter of 1992 was up significantly over the same periods in 1991. The net yield margin was 4.47 percent for the year, up 49 basis points from 1991, and 4.85 percent for the 1992 fourth quarter, an increase of 78 basis points from the 1991 fourth quarter. The provision for loan losses for the year, which totaled $67.8 million, declined 76 percent from the 1991 level, while the provision for the 1992 fourth quarter declined 92 percent from the same quarter last year. The fourth quarter of 1991 included a $146.6 million provision to establish the Accelerated Real Estate Asset Reduction Program. Non-interest operating income totaled $281.0 million for the year and $74.9 million for the 1992 fourth quarter, representing respective increases of 13 percent and 8 percent. Net securities losses totaled $7.4 million and $1.7 million for the year and fourth quarter of 1992, respectively, compared with net securities gains of $93.2 million and $57.7 million, respectively, for the same periods last year. Non-interest expense for 1992 declined $9.7 million from the prior year's level, but was up slightly from the 1991 fourth quarter.
 Total assets at Dec. 31, 1992 amounted to $12.1 billion, up 8 percent from a year ago, while loans (net of unearned income) of $5.8 billion declined slightly from 1991. Total deposits declined $657 million, or 8 percent, from Dec. 31, 1991.
 Signet Banking Corp. is a $12.1 billion organization with 236 full- service banking offices throughout Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. It offers investment services including municipal bond, government, federal agency and money market sales and trading, foreign exchange trading and discount brokerage, an international operation concentrating on trade finance, and specialized services for trust, leasing, asset based lending, cash management, real estate, insurance, consumer financing and investment banking.
 -0- 1/20/93
 /CONTACT: Teri A. Temples, Public Relations Director, Signet Banking Corp., 804-771-7210/
 (SBK)


CO: Signet Banking Corp. ST: Virginia IN: FIN SU: ERN

CM -- CH012 -- 7045 01/20/93 16:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 20, 1993
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