Although less than year old, the fledgling Women's National Bank considers itself about as solid as any old-timer in Washington's family of banks.
The first federally chartered woman's bank in the country, Women's national has operated profitably for the past three months. Generally, new banks take up to two years in business before showing a profit on a month-to-month basis.
"I feel very confident that we have established a good base and we will be one of the most outstanding banks in this area." Bank President Emily H. Womach said yesterday after the bank's inaugural stockholder's meeting.
The bank is no longer a novelty, she said, after just 10 months in business.
Womach hastened to add that the bank may never be the largest. "Being the largest doesn't always mean being profitable or giving the best services," Womach said after the meeting.
"Our growth has been more than we had expected and we are grateful and pleased at the overwhelming public and community acceptance and support," Womach told the stockholders. "Women, men, small businesses and large corporations have all demonstrated their confidence in our bank by opening accounts with us."
Its maiden voyage into Washington's financial corridor was much smoother than that of other banks such as the First Women's Bank of New York. Since it opened in 1975, the first president of the New York bank left because of fundamental disagreement over the way the bank was run. In its first six months of operation the New York bank incurred a deficit of $400,000. It experienced what employees called a "massive turnover" in personnel and serious problems with computer statements.
The New York bank also received a bad name when a 23-year old employee publicly charged that she had lost her job after notifying her superiors that she was pregnant. Under new leadership in the past year, however, the New York bank's situation has improved.
The Women's Bank in Washington incurred a deficit of $76,000 for its intitial fiscal year and Womach has predicted that earnings this year will overcome the initial operating losses.
Total assests grew from $2 million when it began on May 15, to $7 million as of Dec. 31. Total deposits were $4.6 million which places it in last place of Washington's 17 banks, less thant $4 million below its nearest competitor, Diplomat National Bank.
For 1979, Womach said her objective is to obtain more growth in deposits. Since the beginning of the year until this month the bank gained $600,000 in deposits, Womach told stockholders. About 65 percent of the bank's customers are women, Womach added.
The bank's outstanding loans totaled $1 million last year and 95 percent of them were to customers and small businesses, Womach said.