Companies affiliated with theB. F. Saul financial empire came up with most of the money used by Chevy Chase Savings and Loan Association to qualify for federal deposit insurance late Wednesday.
Chevy Chase reopened for normal business yesterday after a week of restricted operations as part of the State of Maryland's efforts to stem a run on the state's privately insured savings and loan associations.
Prior to the state action, Chevy Chase had been personally controlled by B. F. Saul II and several of his associates. As a result of the financial scramble to make the savings institution eligible for federal insurance, it now appears to be owned by companies controlled by Saul.
Saul, in a telephone interview yesterday, said he was interested in getting the savings and loan back to normal business with federal insurance and that executives will sort out later the relationship between the $40 million or so he and his associates have personally invested in the S&L and the $50 million that affiliated companies injected in recent days.
American Security Bank and Marine Midland Bank also added $25 million in debt capital to give the savings and loan the roughly $115 million in net worth it needed to qualify for federal deposit insurance. Chevy Chase, with assets of about $2.3 billion, is the biggest savings and loan in Maryland. To qualify for federal insurance, it had to have a net worth of at least 5 percent.
Like other institutions insured by the Maryland Savings-Share Insurance Corp., Chevy Chase had restricted depositors to withdrawals of no more than $1,000 per account per month. Gov. Harry R. Hughes imposed the withdrawal limits last week after a run on several MSSIC-insured savings and loans threatened to spill over to most or all of the 102 savings and loans that were insured by MSSIC.
The B. F. Saul Real Estate Investment Trust announced yesterday that it invested $30 million in Chevy Chase. Realty Income Trust, a small independent real estate investment trust with ties to Saul himself, added another $8 million.
William R. Wildhack -- vice president of the B. F. Saul Co., the lead company in the mainly privately controlled Saul empire -- said the B. F. Saul Co. itself and several Saul family-owned affiliates put up another $12 million.
The FSLIC would not permit Chevy Chase to count as an asset the $38 million it was required to maintain on deposit with MSSIC. So the savings and loan had to replace that $38 million and raise an additional $37 million to open as a federally insured savings and loan.
Several top executives of Maryland banks estimate that losses at the MSSIC-insured institutions such as Old Court Savings and Loan and Merritt Commercial Savings and Loan Association -- both under state conservatorship -- could wipe out all the assets of the private insurer, including the deposits member savings and loans are required to maintain with MSSIC.
Chevy Chase was not among the MSSIC institutions experiencing financial difficulties, Saul said, and knowledgeable Maryland banking sources said Chevy Chase appeared to be the most profitable of the bigger MSSIC institutions.
A spokesman for American Security Bank, the second-biggest in the District, declined to comment on its loan to Chevy Chase. The bank debt is called a "subordinated" loan, which means that it cannot be repaid until other creditors of the savings and loan are compensated and can be used to pay creditors by the institution. Federal regulators permit savings and loans and commercial banks to count subordinated debt as capital.
The B. F. Saul Real Estate Investment Trust, which made the biggest single investment in Chevy Chase, has not functioned as a real estate investment trust since 1978, Wildhack said. Real estate investment trusts have restrictions on the types of investments they make and are required to pay 90 percent of their earnings to investors.
The B. F. Saul trust is an investment company that is in the business of owning and developing income-producing properties, Wildhack said. He said federal regulators were not concerned that there might be a conflict of interest in a real estate investment company owning a large interest in a savings and loan association -- whose main business is making mortgages and real-estate-related investments.