A Maryland banking company is grappling with the loss of its chief executive and problems with its loan portfolio.

John W. Marhefka resigned abruptly on May 10 as chief executive officer of Annapolis National Bancorp. Eight days later the company informed the Securities and Exchange Commission that it would be unable to file its first-quarter earnings report.

Richard M. Lerner, chairman of Annapolis National, said he could not say whether Mr. Marhefka's resignation had anything to do with the information contained in the May 18 filing, in which the $123 million-asset company disclosed that it needed to increase its loan-loss reserves but had not determined by how much.

From Monday, May 17, through Wednesday, May 19-a day after the filing- Annapolis National's shares fell 8%, to $6.125. Since then the stock has recovered, closing Tuesday at $6.625.

Mr. Lerner said the company would file its first-quarter earnings "when in possession of information we are confident in."

He declined to say what type of loan or loans were involved.

Mr. Marhefka, a former thrift regulator who was with Arlington National for two years, did not return a phone call.

Industry observers said the reasons behind the filing delay were unusual.

"It's an interesting situation," said Charles Horn, a banking attorney and partner with Mayer, Brown & Platt in Washington. "It's hard to say right now what is going on."

In its SEC filing, the bank said that an increase in reserves will probably result in a decrease in first-quarter earnings "and also may impact financial results from prior periods."

Mr. Marhefka is credited with managing a turnaround in which the banking company's net income went to $1.1 million at the end of 1997, from $423,000 the year before. Return on assets rose to 0.99%, from 0.44%.

According to an SEC filing, Mr. Marhefka holds 3.17% of Annapolis National's stock.

Until a successor is found, Mr. Lerner will step into the positions that were held by Mr. Marhefka. They are CEO, vice president, and director of the holding company and president, CEO, and director of Annapolis National Bank.

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