Riggs National Bank plans to open a resident vice president's office in London within a few months as part of a drive to increase international business, chairman Vincent C. Burke Jr. told stockholder s at the Washington bank's annual meeting yesterday.
Noting that Riggs had boosted its overseas loan commitments significantly last year, Burke said a London officer will help Riggs provide more personalized service to existing clients and to develop new relationships throughout Europe.
Riggs currently is lending in 38 nations and has banking realtionships with 58 countries.
In terms of loan commitments in various geographic regions, about $70 million is in Europe, more than $50 million in Asia and the Pacific, $45 million in Latin America and $15 million in the Middle East and Africa.
Questioned about international lending at the meeting. Burke said Riggs lends "only to customers with whom we are familiar . . . [who are] acceptable credit risks."
He said that as of Feb. 28, Riggs had outstanding international commitments of $202.6 million, mostly to foreign governments or banks.
Although the bank chairman declined to discuss any specific loans to South Koreans or other foreigners, citing the confidential nature of banking relationships, Burke did answer stockholders' questions about lending to a current director and to the son of a Government Employees Insurance Co. founder who had filed personal bankruptcy papers.
Because of a decline in the real estate market last year, Riggs restructured a loan of $9.3 million made in 1972 to director Karl W. Corby, president of construction and real estate firms that bear his name.
A new loan of $6.7 million was made at an interest rate of 8 per cent secured by mortgages on real estate that Burke said are "more than adequate" for the loan to be paid in full. Burke said he had called Corby in and suggested the loan restructuring and told stockholders that Corby had informed him several days ago that a "substantial part" of the loan would be paid in a short-period.
As for outstanding loans of $7.3 million to Leo Goodwin Jr., son of a Geico founder. Burke told professional stockholder. Evelyn Y. Davis that collateral "adequately secured in the (bank) vault" more than covers the loan amount.
Burke also said Riggs owned no securities issued by the City of New York. Loans to real estate investment trusts now total $23 million, down from $31 million at the end of 1975 president Daniel J. Callahan III reported.
None of the REIT loans is on a non-accrual basis but $12.8 million of principal amount is being carried at reduced interest rates, Callahan said. There also are $12 million of loans on which no interest is being paid.
According to the bank's annual report, the total reduction in interest income form such loans last year was $876,756 after taxes, equal to 30 cents a share.
Riggs restructured its top management last year into several division - metropolitan, real estate, corporate, international and special services. The bank plans to expand its nationwide marketing for corporate business.
Riggs directors approved a regular quarterly cash dividend of 55 cents a share on common stock, payable April 15 to owners of record March 31.