BALTIMORE -- A recent survey indicates that Maryland's banks continue to be among the most financially secure in the nation.

During the first quarter of 1987, Maryland banks maintained their strong financial condition despite the general decline in a banking industry plagued by large foreign and energy loan delinquencies, according to the latest IDC Financial Publishing survey of the nation's 13,904 commercial banks.

"The state's banks stack up as some of the best," John Rickmeier, chief executive officer of IDC Financial, told The Baltimore Sun. "They are in excellent shape."

The latest issue of the Bank Financial Quarterly shows that Maryland's average bank rating remained high enough to keep it in the "excellent" category, which is much higher than the national average.

Only seven states -- Alabama, Delaware, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Carolina and West Virginia -- had an average rating higher than Maryland's.

Rickmeier said that the state's largest banks have strong capital positions, limited loan delinquencies, strong profits and the flexibility to accommodate sudden interest rate swings. In this category he includes Mercantile Bankshares, MNC Financial Corp., Baltimore Bancorp and Citizens Bank and Trust Co.

Not all large Maryland banks were in excellent financial shape. Signet Bank of Maryland, the former Union Trust Co. of Maryland, was in the below-average category by a few points. Officials said this is based primarily on high delinquencies in real estate, lack of liquidity and commercial loans and a lower capital ratio.endqua