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SIGNET BANKING CORPORATION DISCUSSES STRATEGIES FOR FINANCIAL STRENGTH

SIGNET BANKING CORPORATION DISCUSSES STRATEGIES FOR FINANCIAL STRENGTH
 RICHMOND, Va., April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Signet Banking Corporation (NYSE: SBK) told stockholders at its 31st annual shareholders meeting, held today at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., about continuing strategies to further strengthen the Corporation's liquidity position and build a stronger capital base.
 Strategies included cost control initiatives, a special provision for losses on loans and foreclosed properties to speed the disposition of real estate assets, further restructuring and consolidation which has reduced positions by 25 percent since 1989, technological improvements including establishing a partnership with an outside firm to manage most of Signet's data processing which is estimated to save $137 million over 10 years as well as pioneering image technology which more than doubles the number of checks processed, initiating a program to improve credit quality, and building reserves.
 Also approved was an amendment to the Corporation's Articles of Incorporation to increase the number of authorized shares of the Corporation's preferred stock from 3,000,000 to 5,000,000 shares.
 "As a result of the special loan loss provision and the resulting accelerated Asset Reduction Program established during the fourth quarter of last year, Signet is returning to more normal earnings," said Malcolm S. McDonald, President and Chief Operating Officer. "This program is significantly reducing the effects of the real estate problems which have troubled us for the past two years. Our strong capital base gave us the ability to take this aggressive action and still wind up with sound capital ratios," he said.
 Special recognition was given to Frederick Deane, Jr., Chairman Emeritus, Signet Banking Corporation, who died last week after working his entire 37-year banking career with Signet and its predecessor, Bank of Virginia. "His foresight and leadership helped Signet achieve a place of prominence in the banking and finance industry and he will indeed be missed," said Robert M. Freeman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
 Also recognized were retiring directors Thos. E. Capps, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dominion Resources, Inc.; Alfredo Lafita, Director, Corporacion Financiera Alba, S.A.; Jack Moseley, Retired Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, USF&G Corporation; and Hays T. Watkins, Chairman Emeritus, CSX Corporation. "They have provided many years of very valuable service and we will greatly miss their advice and leadership," said Freeman.
 Re-elected directors for the coming year were J. Henry Butta, Retired President and Chief Executive Officer, Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of Maryland; Norwood H. Davis, Jr., Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Virginia; Robert M. Freeman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Signet Banking Corporation; William R. Harvey, President, Hampton University; and Elizabeth G. Helm, Mayor of Winchester and President, Glaize Developments, Inc.
 Other re-elected directors are Robert M. Heyssel, President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee, Johns Hopkins Health System and Johns Hopkins Hospital; Malcolm S. McDonald, President and Chief Operating Officer, Signet Banking Corporation; Henry A. Rosenberg, Jr., Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Crown Central Petroleum Corporation; Louis B. Thalheimer, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Trading and Production Corporation; and Stanley I. Westreich, President, Westfield Realty.
 Freeman highlighted some of Signet's community reinvestment activities with special emphasis on the bank's Metro Washington Region, an area that includes Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and the suburbs of Maryland.
 Signet Banking Corporation is an $11.3 billion organization with 237 full-service banking offices throughout Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. A major provider of corporate, commercial and real estate finance, Signet also offers credit card, home equity loans and consumer finance services through its branches.
 In addition, Signet is an active home loan provider and offers a full range of investment services including municipal bond, government and federal agency securities, money market sales and trading and foreign exchange services. Signet also provides an international operation concentrating on trade finance, and specialized services for discount brokerage, mutual funds, trust, leasing, asset based lending, cash management, insurance and investment banking.
 -0- 4/21/92
 /CONTACT: S. Joseph Ward, Public Relations Director, Signet Banking Corporation, 804-771-7210/
 (SBK) CO: Signet Banking Corporation ST: Virginia IN: FIN SU:


JZ -- CH011 -- 0820 04/21/92 15:44 EDT
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Date:Apr 21, 1992
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