1503 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, D.C. 20005 ASSETS: $5.4 billion PROFITS: $31 million EARNINGS PER SHARE: $5.18 DIVIDEND: $2.00 DEPOSITS: $4.3 billion STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY: $248 million RETURN ON EQUITY: 13 percent EXCHANGE: OTC EMPLOYES: 1,850 TOP EXECUTIVE: Joe L. Allbritton, chairman and chief executive officer. FOUNDED: 1836

DESCRIPTION: Riggs National Corp. is the parent of Riggs National Bank, the District of Columbia's largest bank. Riggs Bank, the corporation's only subsidiary, has branches in the Bahamas and London and operates an international banking facility in Miami.

DEVELOPMENTS: The performance of Riggs has improved steadily during the last three years, with net income up 15.2 percent for the year ended Dec. 31, the same rate of growth as in 1984 and 1983.

Riggs, like other area banks, is preparing for interstate banking, although it has not yet made any acquisitions across state lines. In April the bank raised $60 million from the sale of stock, reducing Allbritton's ownership to 35.3 percent from 41.2 percent of the bank's outstanding shares. Riggs is likely to use the money to make an acquisition of a bank or other financial institution under interstate banking laws passed during the last year in the District, Virginia and Maryland.

Riggs continues to be the dominant bank in the Washington retail market, but it faces increased competition from Sovran and other regional banks that have moved more quickly to expand their markets through acquisition. #8. FIRST MARYLAND BANCORP

25 S. Charles St. Baltimore, Md. 21201 ASSETS: $4.5 billion PROFITS: $28.3 million EARNINGS PER SHARE: $2.23 DIVIDEND: 82 cents DEPOSITS: $3.2 billion STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY: $280 million RETURN ON EQUITY: 11.1 percent EXCHANGE: OTC EMPLOYES: 3,691 TOP EXECUTIVES: J. Owen Cole, chairman; Charles W. Cole Jr., president and chief executive officer. FOUNDED: 1806

DESCRIPTION: First Maryland is a bank-holding company whose principal asset is The First National Bank of Maryland. It has other subsidiaries that engage in consumer banking, construction lending and equipment, and consumer and commercial finance.

DEVELOPMENTS: First Maryland, which is controlled by Allied Irish Banks of Ireland, is the second-biggest bank company in Maryland. Last year, it reported profit growth of more than 21 percent. Last July, the company announced that it was in the middle of merger talks, but the talks broke off in August.

The company increased its capital position last year, both through a public sale of $50 million in 10-year notes and an additional investment in the institution by Allied Irish. It has capital equivalent to 9.5 percent of its assets, far in excess of the 6 percent level regulators recommend. Last year, the bank company spent $17 million to improve all 11 of its operating systems, including the branch automation system. It has 186 offices. #7. DOMINION BANKSHARES CORP.

P.O. Box 13327 Roanoke, Va. 24040 ASSETS: $4.7 billion PROFITS: $39.3 million EARNINGS PER SHARE: $3.73 DIVIDEND: $1.23 DEPOSITS: $3.7 billion STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY: $269 million RETURN ON EQUITY: 15.6 percent EXCHANGE: OTC EMPLOYES: 3,616 TOP EXECUTIVE: Warner N. Dalhouse, president and chief executive officer. FOUNDED: 1966

DESCRIPTION: Dominion ended the year as the third-largest bank-holding company in Virginia, but expects to fall to fourth place this year as its planned mergers and those of competitors are completed.

DEVELOPMENTS: Dominion agreed to acquire State National Bank in Rockville and National Bank of Commerce in Washington. The mergers, which are expected to be completed by midsummer, would increase Dominion's assets by $267 million, its branches by 15 and its automated teller machines by nine.

The company's profits increased 19.4 percent in 1985, a significant slowing from the 34 percent increase in profits it had in 1984, when it spent much of the year consolidating operations of several in-state acquisitions. This year it will focus on streamlining its new purchases and gaining market share in the greater metropolitan area. #9. AMERICAN SECURITY CORP.

730 15th St. NW Washington, D.C. 20013 ASSETS: $4.2 billion PROFITS: $25.4 million EARNINGS PER SHARE: $2.17 DIVIDEND: $1.02 DEPOSITS: $3.1 billion STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY: $249 million RETURN ON EQUITY: 10.7 percent EXCHANGE: OTC EMPLOYES: 1,500 TOP EXECUTIVES: Daniel J. Callahan III, chairman and chief executive officer; William G. Tull, president. FOUNDED: 1814

DESCRIPTION: American Security Corp. is the parent company of American Security Bank, the District's second-largest commercial bank. The company also has subsidiaries that manage investment funds, provide life-insurance brokerage and offer travel services, and it owns a venture-capital company that invests in small businesses.

DEVELOPMENTS: American Security's 1985 profits increased more than fivefold over 1984, when the bank had to set aside $37 million in loan-loss reserves to cover a string of bad loans in shipping, energy and real estate.

Bank officials say that the loan-loss reserve increase, which came directly out of fourth-quarter earnings, was adequate and the bank has turned the corner to recovery. In addition to greater profitability, the bank reduced nonperforming loans by 37 percent to $96.9 million by Dec. 31 from a peak of $154 million in May.

The bank's 1985 profits still are below the 1983 level of $31.4 million, and nonperforming assets are likely to prevent the bank from soon recapturing the place it held for many years until 1984 as the most profitable bank in the District. The problems depress the price the institution could get if it were sold under the newly passed interstate banking laws and would handicap any effort it might make to acquire banks outside the District. #10. PERPETUAL AMERICAN BANK

2034 Eisenhower Ave. Alexandria, Va. 22314 ASSETS: $4.1 billion PROFITS: $21.1 million EARNINGS PER SHARE: $2.95 DIVIDEND: 23 cents for preferred stock, none for common stock DEPOSITS: $2.9 billion STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY: $236.8 million RETURN ON EQUITY: 10.9 percent EXCHANGE: OTC EMPLOYES: 1,264 TOP EXECUTIVES: Thomas J. Owen, chairman and chief executive officer; Ross C. Towne, president and chief operating officer. FOUNDED: 1881

DESCRIPTION: Perpetual American is the largest federally insured thrift institution in the Washington area and, because of a number of recent mergers, the only one permitted under law to operate in all three local jurisdictions. Perpetual has 56 branch offices, offers consumer and commercial loans and engages in all aspects of real estate finance and development.

DEVELOPMENTS: Last year was Perpetual's first full year as a public company, as well as the first in which it turned a profit after a long string of money-losing years.

Perpetual Chairman Thomas J. Owen attributed much of the improvement in earnings to substantially increased asset production at the bank, which resulted in higher fee income and increased gains on the sale of loans and mortgage-backed securities. Indeed, in 1985, Perpetual American sharply increased its loan production, generating $900 million of loans, compared with $703 million in 1984.

The bank also benefited from the decline in interest rates, which helped reduce the cost of funds for Perpetual, especially during the second part of the year. Another contributing factor to the improved profits was revenue from the bank's real estate joint ventures, including income from Perpetual's sale of its partnership interest in a downtown Washington office building.

During the year, Perpetual also linked up its automatic teller network to the Most regional network. In another move with ATMs, Perpetual purchased the terminals in 91 Safeway stores in the Washington area.