FALLS CHURCH, Va. - First Virginia Banks Inc. reported second-quarter earnings of $23.8 million, or $1.11 a share, up 44% from $16.5 million, or 77 cents a share, in the second quarter of 1991.

Return on assets for the multi-bank holding company reached 1.46% up from 1.17% a year earlier, and return on equity jumped to 16.91%, from 12.87%.

Robert H. Zalokar, chairman and chief executive officer, said the company benefited from a 5.4% net interest margin, 35 basis points higher than in the 1991 second quarter and 10 basis points above the first-quarter figure.

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