Riggs National Corp. DESCRIPTION: The largest commercial banking business in the Washington area. The company also owns Central Charge, which is the largest credit card system based in this region (OTC). LOANS: $1.7 billion. DEPOSITS: $3.0 billion. FOUNDED: 1836. TOP EXECUTIVES: Joe L. Allbritton, chairman; Vincent C. Burke Jr., chairman, executive committee; Daniel J. Callahan, President

Washington's biggest bank is now firmly under the direction of financier-publisher Joe L. Allbritton, who owns 40 percent of the bank's stock and installed himself as chairman and chief executive of Riggs National Corp., a holding company organized last April to own Riggs National Bank.

Like other banks that have given birth to new parents, Riggs says the reorganization was primarily to allow the bank "greater corporate flexibility" and to provide greater "geographic flexibility" when the laws on interstate banking are changed. In his letter to stockholders, Allbritton said with the reorganization in effect "we are confident that the Riggs National Corp. is strongly positioned to maintain and expand our traditional role of preeminence in Washington banking."

Riggs' earnings were flat last year in part because bad loans cost the bank $5 million in pretax interest income. After a two-for-one stock split voted at last year's annual meeting, Riggs declared a special year-end dividend of 10 cents a share. Riggs has joined a new regional automatic teller machine system, linking it with other banks in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

American Security Corp. DESCRIPTION: Holding company whose principal subsidiary is American Security Bank. Other businesses include mortgage banking, property management, insurance and travel (OTC). LOANS: $1.6 billion. DEPOSITS: $2.4 billion. FOUNDED: Holding company was formed in 1957; corporation traces its beginnings to that of a predecessor bank, National Metropolitan, in 1814, although ASB first was incorporated in Virginia in 1889 and in D.C. in 1890. TOP EXECUTIVES: W. Jarvis Moody, chairman; Kevin Woelflein, president of American Security Bank.

American Security was the most profitable bank in Washington last year as net income rose by 9.5 percent. Assets topped the $3 billion mark. Deposits were up 10 percent to $2.4 billion and loans gained by 12.3 percent over 1980. Nonperforming loans increased from $16.8 million to $27.5 million or 1.66 percent of total loans, but were still below the industry average for a bank of that size.

In December the board of directors proposed a two-for-one stock split and increased the number of authorized shares threefold to raise additional capital for further expansion. Last year the bank joined a regional network of shared teller machines so that eventually customers will be able to withdraw cash at numerous outlets in the area. It increased its wholesale lending offices to six nationwide by opening ones in Baltimore and Denver; a seventh is planned for this year in the Southwest. It plans to develop its international relationships, particularly through the financing of the expansion of European business in this country.

National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp. DESCRIPTION: Nonprofit Washington cooperative that provides 918 rural electric system members with financing to supplement federal loans from the Rural Electrification Administration. CFC represents about 9 million consumers of electricity in rural areas from its headquarters in Georgetown. FOUNDED: 1969. TOP EXECUTIVE: Charles B. Gill, governor and chief executive officer.

Volatile financial-market conditions and falling housing starts put CFC on its guard this year, looking for "increased innovation in financing approaches and in-depth consideration of long-term planning," according to Gill. CFC set up new bank lines of credit to reduce the costs of funding short- and intermediate-term loan programs, below prime rates for a time. With continued poor housing-start prospects, CFC foresees somewhat reduced demand for electric-system expansion during fiscal 1982. At the same time, the corporation expects "rural electric systems will continue to be able to obtain their capital requirements through their established sources in amounts adequate to meet their needs."

Financial General Bankshares DESCRIPTION: Holding company for banks in Washington, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee and New York (AMEX). LOANS: $1.4 billion. DEPOSITS: $2.6 billion. FOUNDED: 1925. TOP EXECUTIVES: Clark M. Clifford, chairman; Robert G. Stevens, president and CEO.

Just last week, new management was installed at Financial General, completing a four-year drive by three Middle Eastern investors to buy control of the Washington area's third largest banking company. More than 95 percent of FG's common stock has been acquired by the new owners, Shiek Kamal Adham of Saudi Arabia, Faisal Saud al Fulaij of Kuwait and Abdullah Darwaish, who manages the financial affairs of the royal family of Abu Dhabi. What the new owners do with the First American Banks here and Financial General's other operations is the most tantalizing question in Washington banking. First American has the only tristate banking franchise in the Washington area and is a step ahead of other banks, which are waiting for Congress to permit interstate banking. The buyers have promised to pour in additional capital and may use their worldwide financial contacts to expand FG's international banking business.

The holding company had been without a full-time CEO since J. William Middendorf II left to join the Reagan administration, but that has meant little for the largely autonomous FG banks. Besides the local First American banks, the chain includes Bank of Commerce in New York City; Community Bank of Albany, N.Y.; Valley Fidelity Bank of Knoxville, Tenn.; Shenandoah Valley National of Winchester; Valley National of Harrisonburg; People's National of Leesburg; Round Hill National and First National of Lexington and Eastern Shore National of Pocomoke City, Md.

First Virginia Banks Inc. DESCRIPTION: A Falls Church bank holding company for First Virginia Bank of Northern Virginia and 20 other commercial banks throughout the state, with 170 offices overall (NYSE, Phila.) LOANS: $1.0 billion. DEPOSITS: $1.5 billion. FOUNDED: 1949. TOP EXECUTIVES: Thomas K. Malone Jr., chairman; Robert H. Zalokar, president.

First Virginia recorded a 9 percent increase in assets last year, although its loan portfolio grew only 4 percent. The bank said the small increase in loans was due to the lackluster performance of the economy. The bank said the 4 percent loan increase was the smallest year-to-year rise since the recession of the mid-1970s.

Much of First Virginia's increase in assets came as purchased securities, primarily federal and state and local issues. At the end of the year, First Virginia had assets of $1.71 billion, compared with $1.57 billion at the end of 1980. Deposits rose 9 percent, but the bank noted much of the rise came in high-cost certificates of deposit. The bank holding company, which has 7 percent of the deposits and 10.8 percent of the banking offices in Virginia, continues to add banks to its network.

Last year, two banks merged with First Virginia and agreed to merge with four others. First Virginia has joined with several other banks in Maryland, Virginia and the District to form a regional network of automatic teller machines. A First Virginia customer can use his or her card to obtain funds from his or her First Virginia account at any other participating bank's automatic teller machine.

Suburban Bancorp DESCRIPTION: Holding company for Suburban Bank, the largest bank in the Maryland suburbs of Washington and the fourth largest in the state, as well as for Thurmont Bank in central Maryland, Suburban Bank in Hancock and Hagerstown, and for leasing and mortgage subsidiaries. The firm describes itself as the first billion-dollar suburban bank holding company in the nation (OTC). LOANS: $1.2 billion. DEPOSITS: $1.3 billion. FOUNDED: 1972. TOP EXECUTIVES: Robert F. Tardio, chairman; G.J. (Bud) Manderfield, president.

Suburban Bancorp, formerly Suburban Bancorporation, has, in recent years, become one of the fastest growing regional banking institutions in the country. Assets currently are little more than $1.66 billion but Suburban expects to exceed the $2 billion mark by the end of 1982.

A multibank holding company based in Bethesda, Suburban is engagaed primarily in retail and general commercial banking in Maryland, through its subsidiaries, Suburban Bank, Thurmont Bank and Suburban Bank/Western.

In a recent rating of the top 200 commercial banking institutions, Business Week ranked Suburban 157th based on total assets and 154th in deposits. However, in a comparison of performance based on return on assets--a key measurement--Suburban ranked 25th.

In 1981, Suburban's 1.19 percent return on assets and 15.5 percent return on equity were higher than industry averages for comparable-sized financial institutions.

As part of its long-term planning structure last year, Suburban reorganized its management, changing the name of its principal subsidiary from Suburban Trust to Suburban Bank. It recently moved its headquarters from Hyattsville to new administrative offices in Bethesda.

To position itself for growth in the market, Suburban has formed a shared regional automatic teller network with other Maryland, Washington and Virginia banks. The network is scheduled to become operational in early summer.

Perpetual-American Federal Savings and Loan Association DESCRIPTION: The largest savings institution in the Washington region with more than $1 billion in assets. It has headquarters in the District and 22 offices (including four in Maryland). It is a mutual S&L, owned by depositors, with subsidiaries engaged in financial services and the mortgage business. SAVINGS ACCOUNTS: $1.05 billion. LOANS ORIGINATED IN 1981: $88 million. RESERVES: $113.5 million. FOUNDED: 1881. TOP EXECUTIVE: Thomas J. Owen, chairman and chief executive.

Along with most other American savings and loans, Perpetual-American experienced its worst year ever in 1981 with a net loss of $8 million. Savings accounts diminished slightly and loan activity fell significantly from the 1980 figure of $180 million to $88 million. Although surplus reserves fell, they are still the highest of any major S&L in the area and three times those required by the government.

Last year Perpetual-American announced an agreement to merge with Washington-Lee Savings and Loan in Virginia, subject to federal approval. It also made application to establish a nationwide stock brokerage capability for savings and loans. It closed one office and opened another in Brookland. This year it has already opened an office in Georgetown and will open two additional branches in Northwest this year. Continued high interest rates make prospects for the current year little better than last.

Geico Corp. DESCRIPTION: Insurance holding company for Government Employees Insurance Co., which writes auto and homeowners insurance for low-risk customers. Other subsidiaries include Criterion Insurance Co., an auto and motorcycle insurer; Government Employees Financial Corp. of Denver, which provides diversified financial services; and Resolute Group, a new reinsurance venture (NYSE). 1981 CONSOLIDATED WRITTEN PREMIUM VOLUME: $626 million. TOTAL PROPERTY AND CASUALTY POLICIES: 1.6 million. FOUNDED: 1936. TOP EXECUTIVE: John J. Byrne, chairman.

GEICO Corp. got out of the life insurance business when it sold its two-thirds share in Government Employees Life Insurance Co. to the British Legal & General Group in December and now is getting back into life lines. Earlier this month, Geico agreed to buy Garden State Life Insurance Co. of Newark for $10 million in cash and notes.

Geico started a money market fund last year--Government Securities Cash Fund--and organized its own reinsurance arm, Resolute Group Inc., last June. While Geico is best known for insuring "preferred risks"--the accident-prone need not apply--the Criterion subsidiary aims at the general population and also insures motorcyclists, a high-risk population. Geico owns a 22 percent stake in Avemco Corp., a neighboring Bethesda firm specializing in aviation insurance. Geico bought its stock to help Avemco avoid a threatened unfriendly takeover in late 1980 and placed its second representative on Avemco's board last year. The Government Employees Financial operation, a consumer credit company serving Americans who live abroad, lost money because of high interest rates last year and the 1982 outlook "is fair at best," the company says.

Geico Chairman Jack Byrne may be the most candid chief executive around, given his frank forecast that "the outlook for the property and casualty insurance industry is not good for 1982 . . . our guarded forecast is that Geico will continue to prosper at least modestly" this year.

Fund for Government Investors Inc. DESCRIPTION: Investment company that was formed to offer a convenient investment medium for those looking to invest in short-term U.S. government securities and repurchase agreements secured by such securities. TOP EXECUTIVES: Daniel L. Connor III, chairman of the board; Richard J. Garvey, president.

Fund for Government Investors' net assets rose from last year's figure of $400.7 million to $1,029.7 million. The average rate of return for 1981 was 15.17 percent. The daily yield in June was 18.29 percent, but was reduced to 10.78 percent in December. Because of massive borrowing by the U.S. Treasury to finance the mounting federal deficit, the money market fund anticipates that this will boost pressure on short-term rates. The company invests only in U.S. government securities. Investment advice and management services are provided by Money Management Associates, which is paid a fee by the company at an annual rate based according to the size of its net assets.

First Variable Rate Fund for Government Income Inc. DESCRIPTION: Washington's largest money market fund group, investing solely in government securities. FOUNDED: 1976. TOP EXECUTIVES: D. Wayne Silby, chairman; John G. Guffey Jr., president.

The company's two mutual funds, First Variable Rate Fund and Calvert Tax Free Reserve, experienced a 143 percent growth in assets last year to $1.135 billion at year end. It had the highest average yield of any government-only fund in the country in 1981, 16.4 percent.

First Variable plans to expand this year, adding three more mutual funds: equity, income and social investment funds. Now a general purpose fund mainly for individual investors, it will develop sales to institutions.

National Bank of Washington DESCRIPTION: Commercial bank with 25 branch offices in the District. The United Mine Workers union owns three quarters of the bank's stock (OTC). LOANS: $590.2 million. DEPOSITS: $819.7 million. FOUNDED: 1809. TOP EXECUTIVES: Luther H. Hodges, chairman; C. James Nelson, president.

Despite chairman Hodges' assertions that 1981 would be a better year, it was not, as he noted in the first paragraph of the bank's annual report. Earnings, which fell 42 percent in 1980, dipped another 35 percent last year to $2.61 million. Hodges said that because the bank has a large percentage of its assets in fixed-rate loans that yielded less than it cost the bank to obtain funds. Hodges said a "primary objective of the bank is to restructure the balance sheet so that we may promptly return to an acceptable level of profitability." It also closed two branches and cut back on personnel by 2 percent.

A scandal over questionable loans in 1980 led to a change in top management and directors. The questionable practices resulted in large loan losses and the Comptroller of the Currency required the bank to develop a strategic business plan, which Hodges said the bank met in 1981. Hodges said 1981 will be remembered as a reconstruction period in the bank's history and the year the National Bank of Washington became a "billion-dollar bank."

National Permanent Federal Savings and Loan Association DESCRIPTION: Second largest of Washington's savings and loan associations, with 21 offices in the District. Its subsidiaries are engaged in real estate development, insurance and mortgage banking. NEW LOANS: $95 million. DEPOSITS: $670 million. FOUNDED: 1890. TOP EXECUTIVES: John W. Stadtler, chairman and chief executive officer; Edgar F. Peterson, president and chief administrative officer.

After a small loss in 1980, the company experienced a severe loss last year. Part of the loss, which was larger than projected, can be attributed to its merger with Eastern Liberty in June. National Permanent, the survivor, had to set up large loss reserves against the $2 million loss its partner had suffered. In addition, the S&L was plagued by continued high interst rates that forced it to pay two percentage points more for money than it was receiving on its loans. And loan activity dropped in a stagnant real estate market.

Last December, National Permanent signed a letter of intent to merge with Guardian Federal, whose main body of offices is located in Maryland. The aim was to expand into the affluent suburbs. However, the deal was never consummated due to objections by federal regulators. Subsequently Guardian agreed in principle to merge with another S&L.

National Permanent officials forecast continued losses this year unless interest rates drop. The S&L has reserves of $36.9 million against those losses.

Navy Federal Credit Union DESCRIPTION: Largest credit union in the United States, with 60 offices worldwide and headquarters in Vienna to serve 557,000 members. FOUNDED: 1933. TOP EXECUTIVES: Vice Adm. V. A. Lascara, USN (ret.), president.

The credit union experienced moderate growth in 1981 despite adverse financial conditions. Consumer and mortgage loans were up by $70.2 million or 11.2 percent, while savings went up by $60.5 million or 7.9 percent. Its reserves increased by 19 percent to $45.9 million.

Navy's investment policy is to remain highly liquid and roll with changes in the financial marketplace. It is actively marketing Individual Retirement Accounts and initiating education loans.

Columbia First Federal Savings and Loan Association DESCRIPTION: Area's third largest S&L after last year's merger of Columbia Federal and First Federal of Washington. Columbia First has 15 offices, including one in Maryland. SAVINGS DEPOSITS: $690.2 million. MORTGAGE LOANS: $836.7 million. FOUNDED: 1907. TOP EXECUTIVES: Charles E. Kefauver Jr., chairman; T. William Blumenauer Jr., president and chief executive; Dewitt T. Hartwell, executive vice president and chief administrative officer.

In March 1981, First Federal merged with Columbia Federal, forming Columbia First Federal Savings and Loan Association. Their financial statement shows that assets for 1981 were just under a billion dollars. The association is in a position to implement new financial services such as its NOW account, called Checkmate Savings. Columbia First is Washington's first federally chartered and first insured savings association.

The Acacia Group DESCRIPTION: An umbrella organization for marketing purposes that covers five Washington-based companies, including Acacia Mutual Life and Acacia National Life insurance companies. LIFE INSURANCE SALES: $962 million. POLICIES IN FORCE: 341,904. FOUNDED: 1869. TOP EXECUTIVES: Daniel L. Hurson, chairman and chief executive officer; Duane B. Adams, president and chief operating officer.

Acacia jumped on the universal life bandwagon this past year, introducing a type of policy that accumulates cash value at current interest rates on an income tax-deferred basis until withdrawn. Acacia's consumers loved it, signing up for 35 percent more new policies than in 1980. Investment income, the other substantial revenue avenue for insurance firms, was the highest in Acacia's history--$63.1 million--but further growth is likely to be tempered by policy loan and surrender activities as consumers turn to insurance policies as a ready source of quick cash at low interest rates.

During the year, the five companies that make up Acacia took on their formal name of The Acacia Group, reflecting the growing importance of Acacia National and Educational Products to the company's bottom line. Acacia, which doubled its amount of annual premiums from 1980 to 1981, expects to repeat that performance--by midyear, a company official says.

Citizens Bancorp DESCRIPTION: Riverdale-based commercial bank holding company serving Maryland with 65 offices (OTC). LOANS: $398 million. DEPOSITS: $601 million. FOUNDED: 1928. TOP EXECUTIVES: Alfred Smith, chairman; Robert Bone, president.

Citizens Bank and Trust Co. continued to add offices in 1981 and will add more in 1982 by acquiring new banks in Maryland. The bank has formed a holding company, Citizens Bancorp, which "will provide a more flexible platform from which to sustain our continued growth," the bank said. Last year Citizens merged with Century National Bank--acquiring its four offices--and added three new branches of its own. At the end of 1981 the bank had 65 offices and with mergers planned or consummated already in 1982 will add several more.

Although Citizens, like all banks, experienced continued increases in the costs of obtaining funds, the bank's net income is rising. Citizens had a 37 percent rise in profits during the first three months of 1982, following a 41 percent increase during 1981. Citizens' income from operations rose 18.6 percent in 1981 to $57.4 million from $48.4 million.

United Services Life Companies DESCRIPTION: Life insurance company that exclusively insures military officers and their families. The D.C. company also has five subsidiaries, the largest being Bankers Security Life Insurance Society, whose assets reached $218. million and obtained a net income of $3.7 million for 1981. SALES: $1.779 billion. POLICIES IN FORCE: $8.8 billion. FOUNDED: 1937. TOP EXECUTIVES: George Olmsted, chairman; Leslie P. Schultz, president and CEO.

United Services Life Companies built a $5-million, five-story building in Arlington and moved its sales and training center into the new building, but corporate offices are still located at 1701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. United Services just passed the $9 billion level for life insurance in force, which makes it the largest insurance company in D.C. Its primary shareholder is International Bank, which owns just over a third of the outstanding shares.

International Bank DESCRIPTION: Not a bank in the usual sense, International Bank is a European-style merchant bank with investments in manufacturing, insurance, finance, leasing, off-shore banking and various services. IB has interests in firms doing business in all 50 states and 38 foreign countries. FOUNDED: 1920. TOP EXECUTIVES: George Olmsted, chairman and chief executive officer; Guy Martin, vice chairman and president.

A strong fourth quarter almost made up for a weak early start last year for International Bank, the extraordinarily diversified company that bears the personal stamp of its founder and chief executive, Gen. George B. Olmsted. Despite a 112 percent jump in fourth quarter profits, annual earnings slipped from $13.1 million to $12.7 million and revenues from IB's diversified operations dropped to $20.4 million from $22.7 million. Those revenues represent only the holding company's share of the operations of its various investments.

The real indicator of International Bank's size is its $235 million in assets. While Gen. Olmsted has built a worldwide financial empire, his biggest battle this year will be in Alexandria, where the Olmsted Foundation's plans for a monumental high rise office building are being ambushed by local residents.