In a development that could have a profound impact on the metropolitan area's banking business, American Security Bank of Washington has opened two loan offices in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs.
American Security's offices - at 11300 Rockville Pike in Montgomery County and 8150 Leesburg Pike near Tysons Corner - are the first such suburban facilities ever opened by a bank based in the District.
Under federal regulations, banks are prohibited from branching across state lines. Banks may open offices in other states where traditional branch banking business is not conducted, however.
In the case of American Security, which earlier joined other D.C. banks in a futile attempt to change government policies and permit areawide branching here, the new offices are designed specifically to generate new corporate leans in the expanding suburbs. There will be no tellers or retail banking activities.
Other banks from such major financial centers as Chicago or New York and regional institutions have opened similar "loan production offices" (LPOs) in distant cities in the past decade and American Security itself opened a LPO in Richmond a year ago.
"Corporate banking is essentially a one-on-one situation and our experience with the Richmond office over this past year has shown that we can provide maximum convenience and service to both our corporate customers and correspondent banks by providing an officer on location who is highly responsive to the particular senior vice president for corporate banking at American Security.
All three offices in Maryland and Virginia are headed by fomer officials of banks in their Ocalities, hired specifically by the Washington institution for those markets.
Jarvis Moody, president of the D.C. bank declined to provide data on loan business generated by the Richmond facility but he said the volume was "way over" expectations. A second loan officer has been added to the Richmond facility, headed by vice president Charles Coudriet.
Moody said the Washington bank expects to open another loan office in large loans jointly rather than attempting to move in and take away local business.
Banks from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Chicago have become active in the Washington area in recent years, sending in teams of loan officers in an attempt to secure loan business from area corporations.
Both American Security and its chief D.C. rival, riggs National Bank, have about 10 loan officers who travel across the country to seek and maintain corporate accounts.
Riggs Chairman Vincent Burke said yesterday he sees no necessity for his institution to open suburban loan offices because Riggs officers already travel around the Capital Beltway in search of business.
For American Security, the Tysons Corner office is headed by vice president Craig Marshall; the Rockville office is headed by vice president Brian McKevitt.