Ameribanc Investors Group, which owns Ameribanc Savings Bank, reported yesterday that it lost a record $19.9 million in 1990 because of the decline in the local real estate market and the "ongoing economic recession."
Ameribanc, which operates 35 branches in Virginia, said it lost $12.6 million in the fourth quarter alone, which compares with earnings of $1.4 million (22 cents per share) in the fourth quarter of 1989. The 1990 loss compared with earnings of $7.2 million ($1.10) in 1989.
The savings bank company added $17.8 million to its reserve for loan losses, which protects against past and future loan defaults.
President John J. Houseman said that the level of reserves "is appropriate based on the conditions prevalent in the local real estate market, any further deterioration in the local market, however, could result in the need for additional reserves."
Houseman said Ameribanc sold its largest foreclosed property in the quarter, a hotel in Greenville, N.C., along with several other smaller properties. The balance of foreclosed properties still totaled $45 million as of Dec. 31.
Loans that are no longer paying interest or are in default increased to $113 million as of year-end, a $68 million increase over the level of troubled loans in 1989.
Although Ameribanc's problems are serious, the savings bank remains in compliance with two of the three federal standards for capital, the financial cushion that thrifts must provide to protect against losses.
Houseman said Ameribanc is now preparing a plan telling regulators how it will meet the third capital standard.
Ameribanc said assets totaled $1.2 billion at year-end, a decline of 10 percent from the end of 1989.