WASHINGTON -- No one can say bankers in the Washington area don't revere the nation's founding fathers.
At least count, three banks were named after great Americans, and a fourth, Abigail Adams National Bancorp, after the country's second first lady.
But these "politically connected" banks are a vanishing breed. Last year, regulators slammed shut Theodore Roosevelt National Bank. The $12.6 million bank's assets were snapped up by neighboring Industrial Bank of Washington.
The prior year, Madison National Bank, named after James Madison, crumbled after an insider loan scandal.
|Washington' Is No Charm
The same year, John Hanson Savings Bank, a Maryland thrift named after the president of the Congress of the Confederation, was seized after it lost millions because of souring commercial real estate loans.
Even George Washington National Bank in Alexandria, Va., is having tough times. The $23 million-asset institution has struggled since it opened in 1989. It managed to earn $4,530 for the second quarter.
Are these banks jinxed? "I haven't factored that into my evaluation model," said John Bailey, a banking analyst with Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co., a Washington-based broker-dealer. "But I'm willing to consider it."
There are a few banks in Washington that are serving their namesakes well, however.
Franklin National Bank of Washington, named after Benjamin Franklin, earned $223,000 in the second quarter. Fairfax City's George Mason Bank, which takes its name from the Virginia statesman who refused to sign the Declaration of Independence, racked up earnings of $784,000. And Adams National Bank earned $161,000 in the second quarter.
"Our third quarter is going to be sensational," said Barbara Blum, chief executive of the woman-owned bank.