Business at United Federal Savings Bank was "normal" yesterday, a day after federal regulators took over the financially ailing institution and renamed it, federal officials said.

The federal government took control of United Savings Bank Tuesday after the savings and loan was substantially weakened by a sharp slowdown in the Washington real estate market and a three-day run on deposits.

It reopened yesterday as United Federal Savings Bank, after being placed Tuesday under management of the Resolution Trust Corp., the government agency charged with handling the thrift cleanup.

"I believe business today was normal," said Kate Spears, a spokeswoman for the RTC. "Some depositors withdrew their accounts," she said. "{But} things are very calm right now."

The bank is the first local savings and loan to fail during the current crisis in the nation's thrift industry and the first to be taken over since a series of state-chartered Maryland S&Ls failed in 1985.

Bank customers continue to have access to their deposits, and all 15 bank branches in Northern Virginia were open as usual, Spears said.

She said United deposits remain federally insured up to $100,000.

United President Stanley Burns is the only United employee to be replaced under the takeover, officials said.

RTC managing agent Ronald Falls will oversee the S&L until the government can find a buyer or dispose of United's assets.

Government involvement in United came after it was determined that the thrift was operating in "unsafe and unsound conditions" that threatened assets and deposits and that could have heavily strained the federal deposit insurance fund.

The RTC attributed United's deteriorating conditions to "an excessive concentration of poorly underwritten commercial real-estate loans" and construction and development loans.

United reached its peak boom in the mid-1980s when it attracted large deposits with higher-than-average interest rates.

Funds were lent primarily to commercial developers, many of whom were unable to repay the loans because of the slowing real-estate market.

Losses grew in the late 1980s, mounting from $6.5 million in 1989 to $11.5 million in the first six months of this year.

The government said United had $415.6 million in assets and $414.9 million in liabilities as of June 30.

A capital deficit of $2.9 million was reported.