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FIRST VIRGINIA'S EARNINGS REACHED RECORD HIGHS IN 1991

 FIRST VIRGINIA'S EARNINGS REACHED RECORD HIGHS IN 1991
 FALLS CHURCH, Va., Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- First Virginia Banks,


Inc. (NYSE: FVB) today reported record earnings for the year ended Dec. 31, 1991. Net income reached $69,608,000, an increase of 7 percent above the $65,111,000 earned in 1990. Net income per share of common stock in 1991 was $3.25, up from $3.05 in 1990.
 For the fourth quarter of 1991, net income was a record $18,592,000, or 87 cents per share, up 17 percent from $15,911,000, or 75 cents per share, earned in the fourth quarter of the preceding year.
 Net income for the 1991 calendar year represents a return on average total assets of 1.22 percent and a return on equity of 13.44 percent compared with 1.25 percent and 13.59 percent, respectively, in the preceding year. For the fourth quarter of 1991, the respective returns were 1.25 percent and 13.93 percent compared with 1.20 percent and 12.90 percent for the fourth quarter of 1990.
 Robert H. Zalokar, chairman and chief executive officer of First Virginia, attributed the growth in earnings to a 10 percent growth in average earning assets due in part to a significant volume of new deposits from customers seeking the safety and soundness offered by the First Virginia member banks. The higher level of earnings assets resulted in an 8 percent increase in net interest income in spite of a lower net interest margin. The interest margin was adversely affected by a continuing lack of loan demand requiring new deposit funds to be placed in lower yielding investment securities.
 He stated that non-interest expenses rose 8 percent for the year, but excluding FDIC insurance assessments which almost doubled operating expenses were held to an increase of just under 6 percent.
 On Dec. 31, 1991, non-performing assets, comprised of non-accruing and restructured loans and foreclosed real estate, totaled $34,922,000, down from $36,835,000 at the end of 1990. Non-performing assets, as a percentage of total loans and foreclosed real estate, were only .99 percent at the end of 1991 and 1.07 percent one year earlier. On Dec. 31, 1991, the allowance for loan losses covered non-performing loans 2.39 times and 1991 charge-offs 3.42 times. Loan charge-offs were .38 percent of average loans in 1991 and .31 percent in 1990.
 First Virginia's total assets reached $6 billion during the fourth quarter and on Dec. 31, 1991, were $6.12 billion, up 14 percent over $5.38 billion at the end of the preceding year. Total deposits were $5.35 billion, up 13 percent from $4.72 billion last year. Total loans rose to $3.47 billion, an increase of 2 percent over the $3.39 billion at the preceding year end. Stockholders' equity increased 9 percent during 1991 to $540.12 million, up from $497.69 million at the end of 1990. At Dec. 31, 1991, stockholders' equity was 8.83 percent of total assets compared with 9.24 percent one year earlier.
 FIRST VIRGINIA BANKS, INC.
 (Dollars in thousands)
 Periods ended: Three months Twelve months
 Dec. 31: 1991 1990 1991 1990
 Interest income $130,475 $127,203 $515,837 $501,412
 Interest expense 62,776 67,381 260,286 246,856
 Net interest income 67,699 59,822 255,551 236,556
 Provision for loan losses 4,333 4,438 14,024 13,404
 Other income 18,334 17,208 72,283 68,376
 Other expenses 56,946 51,097 218,243 202,037
 Provision for income taxes 6,162 5,584 25,959 24,380
 Net income 18,592 15,911 69,608 65,111
 Net income per
 common share $0.87 $0.75 $3.25 $3.05
 Average earnings assets
 (in thousands) $5,498,696 $4,871,278 $5,257,913 $4,769,476
 Yield on earning assets
 (as a percent) 9.62 10.60 9.98 10.70
 Average time deposits
 and borrowed funds 4,568,559 3,993,207 4,362,523 3,901,026
 Average interest cost
 (as a percent) 5.45 6.69 5.97 6.79
 Net yield on earnings assets
 (as a percent) 5,09 5.11 5.03 5,15
 Average assets 5,964,054 5,310,194 5,701,385 5,197,386
 Return on average assets
 (as a percent) 1.25 1.20 1.22 1.25
 Average stockholders'
 equity 534,047 493,459 517,854 478,946
 Return on average equity
 (as a percent) 13.93 12.90 13.44 13.59
 As of Dec. 31 (in thousands):
 Total Assets $6,119,260 $5,384,147
 Demand deposits 834,875 785,123
 Savings and time deposits 4,515,096 3,930,759
 Total deposits 5,349,971 4,715,882
 Loans (net) 3,470,561 3,390,486
 Stockholders' equity 540,118 497,687
 Book value per share 25.20 23.27
 NOTE: Earnings per share of common stock for the twelve months ended Dec. 31, after giving effect to dividends on preferred stock of $72,000 in 1991 and $76,000 in 1990, are based on 21,395,000 and 21,351,000 average shares outstanding, respectively.
 -0- 1/15/92
 /CONTACT: Ronald Locke of First Virginia Banks, 703-241-3339/
 (FVB) CO: First Virginia Banks Inc. ST: Virginia IN: FIN SU: ERN SM-TK -- NY050 -- 0020 01/15/92 12:54 EST
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