Virginia banks may be the first to take advantage of new laws in Virginia, Maryland and the District permitting interstate banking, but circumstance and legal oddities already have allowed two local institutions to operate in the three jurisdictions.

First American Bankshares, the largest bank-holding company in the District, is the descendant of a company formed before federal laws prohibited banks from acquiring banks across state lines. The holding company, which had assets of $5.7 billion on Dec. 31, has banks in the District, Maryland, Virginia, New York and Tennessee. It has 27 offices in the District, 30 in Maryland and 97 in Virginia. It has more than a hundred terminal machines in the metro area.

Perpetual American Bank, the area's largest thrift institution, gained the right to do business across state lines by purchasing ailing thrifts under emergency acquisition legislation passed by Congress in 1982.

In 1982, Perpetual bought Guardian Federal of Silver Spring and Washington & Lee in Virginia and moved its headquarters from the District to Alexandria. In 1983, Perpetual acquired Interstate Federal in the District. As of Dec. 31, Perpetual had $4 billion in assets, 12 offices in Maryland, 20 offices in Virginia, 27 offices in the District and 147 teller machines in the metro area.