First Virginia's Annual Meeting of Shareholders

Apr 27, 2001, 01:00 ET from First Virginia Banks, Inc.

    FALLS CHURCH, Va., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The Annual Meeting of
 Shareholders of First Virginia Banks, Inc. was held this morning at the Ritz-
 Carlton Hotel in McLean, Virginia.  Shareholders of the $9.5 billion
 corporation reelected three Class B Directors, each for a term of three years:
 Edward L. Breeden, III, Of Counsel with the Norfolk, Virginia, law firm of
 Breeden, Salb, Beasley & DuVall, P.L.C.; Eric C. Kendrick, President of the
 Arlington, Virginia, real estate management and development firm, Mereck
 Associates, Inc.; and Robert H. Zalokar, retired Chairman of the Board and
 Chief Executive Officer of First Virginia Banks, Inc.  The shareholders also
 elected one new Class B Director for a three-year term, Joseph W. Richmond,
 Jr., Senior Partner in the Charlottesville, Virginia, law firm of Richmond and
 Fishburne, L.L.P., and one new Class A Director for a two-year term, Jennifer
 S. Banner, a Certified Public Accountant with the Knoxville, Tennessee, public
 accounting and consulting firm of Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.  The two
 new directors have previously served on boards of two of First Virginia's
 affiliate banks: Mr. Richmond served with First Virginia Bank-Blue Ridge,
 headquartered in Staunton, Virginia, since 1970, and Ms. Banner served with
 First Vantage Bank-Tennessee, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, since
 2000.
     In other business, the shareholders ratified the appointment of KPMG LLP
 as independent auditors for the year ending December 31, 2001.
     In reviewing the record of the past year, Barry J. Fitzpatrick, First
 Virginia's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer reminded
 shareholders of the unusual anticipation of both euphoria and disaster with
 which the new year -- and the new millennium -- began.  The sun still rose, he
 noted, the world's computers never missed a beat, the economy continued to
 expand, "and here at First Virginia, 2000 was another year in which your
 corporation once again produced record earnings per share."
     For the fourth consecutive year, Mr. Fitzpatrick said, First Virginia's
 earnings per share rose to a new high: $3.01.  While this was only modestly
 better than the $3.00 per share earned in 1999, the 1999 earnings included
 $.27 in nonrecurring gains compared to $.06 in nonrecurring gains in 2000.
 When these gains are excluded from both years, he explained, the core earnings
 per share actually increased 8% to $2.95 in 2000 compared to $2.73 in 1999.
 In a similar fashion, the return on average assets increased to 1.48% in 2000
 compared to 1.45% in 1999, and the return on average shareholders' equity
 increased to 14.09% compared to 13.31%.
     Shareholders also benefited from the Board of Directors' decision to raise
 the dividend for the 24th consecutive year, first to $1.48 per share and then
 again in the fourth quarter to $1.52 a share.  This marks the 19th consecutive
 year the dividend has been increased at least during the year, "a remarkable
 achievement by any standard," Mr. Fitzpatrick declared.
     After citing recessionary concerns with the slowdown in the national
 economy, Mr. Fitzpatrick reminded shareholders that First Virginia has
 traditionally continued to perform well even in the down cycles of the
 economy, especially in comparison to its peers.  "Profits continue to grow at
 a steady pace and asset quality shines, " he said, noting that financial
 analysts describe First Virginia's assets as worthy of the term "pristine."
     Mr. Fitzpatrick reviewed the corporation's accomplishments in 2000, all
 intended, he said, "to further position First Virginia as the bank of choice
 in all our markets." Achieving this position is a dynamic process, he
 explained, which means "that 2000 was another year of strategic change at
 First Virginia."
     The corporation undertook several significant steps to achieve its long-
 standing plan of creating the largest independent bank in each  its markets.
 It merged two of its banking companies serving the tri-cities area of
 Tennessee and far southwest Virginia into one larger multi-state bank, First
 Vantage Bank/ Tri-Cities, making it the dominant community bank for that
 region.  Three former Wilmington Trust offices were added to Atlantic Bank,
 making it the largest community bank on Maryland's Eastern Shore. In addition,
 First Virginia recently announced its acquisition of James River Bankshares,
 Inc., a $516-million bank holding company headquartered in Suffolk, Virginia.
 Its four banks and 24 branches will significantly strengthen First Virginia's
 position in southeastern Virginia and Fauquier County. As a result of these
 actions, Mr. Fitzpatrick said, First Virginia now has the dominant community
 in Northern Virginia, Roanoke, Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia; the tri-cities
 area of Virginia and Tennessee; and Ocean City and Annapolis, Maryland
     Mr. Fitzpatrick listed several new products available on
 firstvirginia.com, the corporate website, including Mortgages OnLine and
 Business Express, an internet-based cash management tool for small- and
 medium-sized business customers. Although the corporation continues to make
 significant investments in its technology and electronic delivery systems, Mr.
 Fitzpatrick reiterated its commitment to maintaining an extensive branch
 network. "It is the personal contact available in the branches that gives us
 the best opportunity for sales of additional products and services.  And it is
 this personal touch that fosters and builds the total financial relationship
 that we seek with each customer," he said.
     In concluding his remarks, Mr. Fitzpatrick asked Shirley C. Beavers, Jr.,
 Senior Executive Vice President, to demonstrate the interactive, user-friendly
 qualities of First Virginia's website.  Mr. Beavers quickly took shareholders
 through the easy steps of opening a deposit account, applying for a loan,
 checking investments, reordering checks, locating a branch or ATM and even
 purchasing a previously owned automobile. In addition, Mr. Beavers
 demonstrated the corporation's cash management products for small, medium and
 large business customers and 401(k) retirement plans for customers of First
 Virginia's asset management services. The site averages two million visits a
 year, Mr. Beavers said, indicating its popularity with customers who
 appreciate the ability to transact their banking and bill-paying activities on
 their own terms.  It augments our branch and ATM networks and our InfoLines
 and gives customers 24-hour a day access to their accounts, Mr. Beavers added.
 
     First Virginia is the largest independent banking company headquartered in
 Virginia and one of the 50 largest in the United States. There are nine banks
 in the First Virginia group, with 294 offices in Virginia, 57 offices in
 Maryland and 25 offices in East Tennessee. First Virginia also operates a
 full-service insurance agency, First Virginia Insurance Services, Inc. The
 corporation's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the
 symbol "FVB."
     Certain statements in this release may constitute "forward-looking
 statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
 of 1995.  Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks
 including, but not limited to, changes in general economic and business
 conditions, interest-rate fluctuations, competition within and without the
 banking industry, new products and services in the banking industry, risks
 inherent in making loans, including repayment risks and fluctuating collateral
 values, changing trends in customer profiles and changes in laws and
 regulations applicable to the corporation.  Although the corporation believes
 that its expectations with respect to the forward-looking statements are based
 upon reasonable assumptions within the bounds of its knowledge of its business
 and operations, there can be no assurance that actual results, performance or
 achievements of the corporation will not differ materially from any future
 results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-
 looking statements.
 
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SOURCE First Virginia Banks, Inc.
    FALLS CHURCH, Va., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The Annual Meeting of
 Shareholders of First Virginia Banks, Inc. was held this morning at the Ritz-
 Carlton Hotel in McLean, Virginia.  Shareholders of the $9.5 billion
 corporation reelected three Class B Directors, each for a term of three years:
 Edward L. Breeden, III, Of Counsel with the Norfolk, Virginia, law firm of
 Breeden, Salb, Beasley & DuVall, P.L.C.; Eric C. Kendrick, President of the
 Arlington, Virginia, real estate management and development firm, Mereck
 Associates, Inc.; and Robert H. Zalokar, retired Chairman of the Board and
 Chief Executive Officer of First Virginia Banks, Inc.  The shareholders also
 elected one new Class B Director for a three-year term, Joseph W. Richmond,
 Jr., Senior Partner in the Charlottesville, Virginia, law firm of Richmond and
 Fishburne, L.L.P., and one new Class A Director for a two-year term, Jennifer
 S. Banner, a Certified Public Accountant with the Knoxville, Tennessee, public
 accounting and consulting firm of Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.  The two
 new directors have previously served on boards of two of First Virginia's
 affiliate banks: Mr. Richmond served with First Virginia Bank-Blue Ridge,
 headquartered in Staunton, Virginia, since 1970, and Ms. Banner served with
 First Vantage Bank-Tennessee, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, since
 2000.
     In other business, the shareholders ratified the appointment of KPMG LLP
 as independent auditors for the year ending December 31, 2001.
     In reviewing the record of the past year, Barry J. Fitzpatrick, First
 Virginia's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer reminded
 shareholders of the unusual anticipation of both euphoria and disaster with
 which the new year -- and the new millennium -- began.  The sun still rose, he
 noted, the world's computers never missed a beat, the economy continued to
 expand, "and here at First Virginia, 2000 was another year in which your
 corporation once again produced record earnings per share."
     For the fourth consecutive year, Mr. Fitzpatrick said, First Virginia's
 earnings per share rose to a new high: $3.01.  While this was only modestly
 better than the $3.00 per share earned in 1999, the 1999 earnings included
 $.27 in nonrecurring gains compared to $.06 in nonrecurring gains in 2000.
 When these gains are excluded from both years, he explained, the core earnings
 per share actually increased 8% to $2.95 in 2000 compared to $2.73 in 1999.
 In a similar fashion, the return on average assets increased to 1.48% in 2000
 compared to 1.45% in 1999, and the return on average shareholders' equity
 increased to 14.09% compared to 13.31%.
     Shareholders also benefited from the Board of Directors' decision to raise
 the dividend for the 24th consecutive year, first to $1.48 per share and then
 again in the fourth quarter to $1.52 a share.  This marks the 19th consecutive
 year the dividend has been increased at least during the year, "a remarkable
 achievement by any standard," Mr. Fitzpatrick declared.
     After citing recessionary concerns with the slowdown in the national
 economy, Mr. Fitzpatrick reminded shareholders that First Virginia has
 traditionally continued to perform well even in the down cycles of the
 economy, especially in comparison to its peers.  "Profits continue to grow at
 a steady pace and asset quality shines, " he said, noting that financial
 analysts describe First Virginia's assets as worthy of the term "pristine."
     Mr. Fitzpatrick reviewed the corporation's accomplishments in 2000, all
 intended, he said, "to further position First Virginia as the bank of choice
 in all our markets." Achieving this position is a dynamic process, he
 explained, which means "that 2000 was another year of strategic change at
 First Virginia."
     The corporation undertook several significant steps to achieve its long-
 standing plan of creating the largest independent bank in each  its markets.
 It merged two of its banking companies serving the tri-cities area of
 Tennessee and far southwest Virginia into one larger multi-state bank, First
 Vantage Bank/ Tri-Cities, making it the dominant community bank for that
 region.  Three former Wilmington Trust offices were added to Atlantic Bank,
 making it the largest community bank on Maryland's Eastern Shore. In addition,
 First Virginia recently announced its acquisition of James River Bankshares,
 Inc., a $516-million bank holding company headquartered in Suffolk, Virginia.
 Its four banks and 24 branches will significantly strengthen First Virginia's
 position in southeastern Virginia and Fauquier County. As a result of these
 actions, Mr. Fitzpatrick said, First Virginia now has the dominant community
 in Northern Virginia, Roanoke, Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia; the tri-cities
 area of Virginia and Tennessee; and Ocean City and Annapolis, Maryland
     Mr. Fitzpatrick listed several new products available on
 firstvirginia.com, the corporate website, including Mortgages OnLine and
 Business Express, an internet-based cash management tool for small- and
 medium-sized business customers. Although the corporation continues to make
 significant investments in its technology and electronic delivery systems, Mr.
 Fitzpatrick reiterated its commitment to maintaining an extensive branch
 network. "It is the personal contact available in the branches that gives us
 the best opportunity for sales of additional products and services.  And it is
 this personal touch that fosters and builds the total financial relationship
 that we seek with each customer," he said.
     In concluding his remarks, Mr. Fitzpatrick asked Shirley C. Beavers, Jr.,
 Senior Executive Vice President, to demonstrate the interactive, user-friendly
 qualities of First Virginia's website.  Mr. Beavers quickly took shareholders
 through the easy steps of opening a deposit account, applying for a loan,
 checking investments, reordering checks, locating a branch or ATM and even
 purchasing a previously owned automobile. In addition, Mr. Beavers
 demonstrated the corporation's cash management products for small, medium and
 large business customers and 401(k) retirement plans for customers of First
 Virginia's asset management services. The site averages two million visits a
 year, Mr. Beavers said, indicating its popularity with customers who
 appreciate the ability to transact their banking and bill-paying activities on
 their own terms.  It augments our branch and ATM networks and our InfoLines
 and gives customers 24-hour a day access to their accounts, Mr. Beavers added.
 
     First Virginia is the largest independent banking company headquartered in
 Virginia and one of the 50 largest in the United States. There are nine banks
 in the First Virginia group, with 294 offices in Virginia, 57 offices in
 Maryland and 25 offices in East Tennessee. First Virginia also operates a
 full-service insurance agency, First Virginia Insurance Services, Inc. The
 corporation's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the
 symbol "FVB."
     Certain statements in this release may constitute "forward-looking
 statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
 of 1995.  Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks
 including, but not limited to, changes in general economic and business
 conditions, interest-rate fluctuations, competition within and without the
 banking industry, new products and services in the banking industry, risks
 inherent in making loans, including repayment risks and fluctuating collateral
 values, changing trends in customer profiles and changes in laws and
 regulations applicable to the corporation.  Although the corporation believes
 that its expectations with respect to the forward-looking statements are based
 upon reasonable assumptions within the bounds of its knowledge of its business
 and operations, there can be no assurance that actual results, performance or
 achievements of the corporation will not differ materially from any future
 results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-
 looking statements.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X44229271
 
 SOURCE  First Virginia Banks, Inc.