The former chairman of a successful Chevy Chase bank that was acquired last year by Citizens Bank and Trust and several other investors have asked for permission to establish a new District of Columbia bank.
Charles Emmet Lucey, former chairman of Century National Bank; Louis J. Boland Jr., marketing manager of Boland-Trane Corp., an air conditioning company; Ann White Lewin, director of the Capital Children's Museum; John G. Shooshan, marketing manager for Oliver T. Carr Co.; architect Robert Calhoun Smith; and restaurateur Jack Sun have applied to the comptroller of the currency to open a national bank with initial capitalization of $3 million.
The bank would be called United States National Bank, U.S. National Bank or Century National Bank, depending on which name is approved by the comptroller if the bank gets his go-ahead. Its headquarters would be in International Square at 18th and K Streets NW.
"There's always room for more competition," said Lucey. "As Security National Bank passes out of the scene, we'll pass into it." Security National Bank is resisting a takeover attempt by NS&T Bankshares at the same time it is moving forward with a merger with Washington Bank.
Lucey said the bank's incorporators hope it can be opened in May when the third section of the International Square development is ready. A ruling from the comptroller's office may come in November, he said.
An economic feasibility study shows the bank "breaking into the black by its second year and shows there is room for another bank in this high-income area," Lucey said. Rapid development in downtown Washington augurs well for the presence of yet another bank, he said.
The bank will not differ from other banks in any major respect, he said. "We're going to get in there and play ball, too . . . The name of the game is convenience, and there isn't going to be another bank where I'm putting this bank," said Lucey.
Although small Washington area banks are being eyed acquisitively by larger institutions and although Lucey's own experience included making money when a larger bank took over Century, the incorporators are not trying to open a bank with an eye toward an eventual takeover.
"I'd hate to go through all the effort of getting it started to have it slip out from under us," he said.