Peter F. Nostrand, chairman, president and chief executive of SunTrust Bank Greater Washington and a major figure in the Washington business community, is stepping down Oct. 1, after 32 years with the company.

Nostrand, 58, will remain chairman until he retires at the end of June, when he will become chairman emeritus. He will continue to represent the company in the community and participate in business development, the company said yesterday.

During his 22-year tenure with SunTrust's Washington operations, Nostrand oversaw the company's expansion in Washington, which included more than a dozen acquisitions of smaller financial institutions.

The organization he built now has 173 offices and 350 ATMs in the District, Maryland and Virginia, allowing it to compete in one of the nation's most vibrant local banking markets. Based in Atlanta, SunTrust Banks Inc. had total deposits as of June 30 of $109.6 billion.

He is as well known, however, for his activism in area business groups, and local business leaders said they were pleased that he planned, even in retirement, to stay in the area and remain involved.

"He's been a pillar of the banking and civic communities for a long time. The good news is he's sticking around and maybe we'll get more of his time," Greater Washington Board of Trade President Robert A. Peck said.

Nostrand served as chairman of the Greater Washington Board of Trade and the Greater Washington Initiative, and on the board of the Federal City Council.

He was also a member of the board of the United Way of the National Capital Area when the agency went through a major financial scandal that ended with the former executive director pleading guilty to defrauding it of $500,000. Nostrand helped oversee an audit that was criticized for not digging deep enough into what was eventually acknowledged as a pattern of misspending.

But he also helped salvage the organization's credibility, taking over as chairman and helping raise more than $90 million from private companies.

"I didn't know there was mismanagement," Nostrand said, who added that he was part of a movement to push for change that ultimately led to an overhaul of the board.

William Couper, president of Bank of America for the region, said Nostrand is as tough a competitor in civic fundraising as he is in the banking business.

"He hits me up every year, and I hit him up for things in return," said Couper, who is also involved in local civic affairs.

He has served as chairman of the Christmas Pageant of Peace Inc. and is on the board of HEROES Inc., a group that provides financial assistance to the families of fallen law enforcement officers.

Nostrand is also an honorary United States Park Police officer and will remain involved with the agency. His honorary badge is "one of the things I cherish the most. I'm proud to be associated with them," Nostrand said.

He said his retirement plans include playing the piano and baking.

The company said Nostrand will be succeeded by J. Scott Wilfong, 55, currently president and chief executive of SunTrust in Atlanta.