Robert F. Comstock

Meet the new Chair of National Capital Bank

Robert Comstock takes a break for our camera in his office on Capitol Hill.

Robert Comstock is the new Chair and Chief Executive Officer of National Capital Bank, assuming those positions in the wake of the passing of Richard A, Didden in late 2013.

Although he may be an unfamiliar face to some, he is no stranger to the bank. Comstock and George Didden III, who was the Chairman and CEO of National Capital Bank from 1995 to his death in 2007, met at the Catholic University of America’s law school.

“George asked me to come aboard here,” the soft-spoken Comstock recalled. “I served on the Board of Directors for 15 years and served as the head of the Audit Committee for a couple of years on and off…for about ten terms.”

Comstock said that the world of banking, just like every other industry, has to keep up with the times.

“We need to increase the number of customers and borrowers that we have,” he said.  “They have done very well, but you always like to grow some. “

“Lots of big banks are selling a lot of their branches,” Comstock went on. “Younger generations are banking with iPhones and computers.” National Capital Bank has two branches, on Capitol Hill and in Friendship Heights.

He said that a lot of older residents like the bank “because they get personal attention. They can actually call and talk to somebody. We still keep that relationship.”

Comstock, whose office has an open door policy, said that he will continue to support the bank’s relationship with the Capitol Hill Community Foundation.

“I started out my life here and would like to be involved in organizations that are a part of the Hill,” he explained. “Some of our officers have served as chairmen and other positions of local entities and often times meetings are held in the bank in the board room.”

Comstock is very involved in charitable work.  In the 1970’s, he helped form a Community Youth Organization for international track and field.

“We received funds from what used to be exhibition games from the Redskins and wanted to do something for the community,” recalled Comstock, who ran track and field during college, as well as playing basketball and baseball.

“My partners [at the law firm]. Said ‘Well I’m sure Bob could do it,’ so we brought track stars in from all over the country and some from foreign countries.”

The first two track meets were held at the DC Armory, but later were held at the University of Maryland Cole Field House where several world records were set. “Big names” in track and field, such as Steve Prefontaine and Dwight Stones attended. In 1977, Comstock managed the first World Cup in track and field team to Dusseldorf.

Comstock was born in Lincoln, Illinois and moved to the capital city of Springfield when he was five. Growing up one of seven children during the Depression, times were tough.

“When we got to be 18, we went to work or college depending on what we could do,” Comstock explained, adding that he got a full scholarship to Catholic University.

“I have been here since 1954,” he said, noting that he majored in politics.

“My first job in DC was the summer before my first year of college. I worked as an administrative assistant for Peter Mack, Representative in my home district Comstock recalled.

In 1958, Comstock graduated and joined the Air Force, where he served for four years. Then he attended law school at Catholic University.  Upon graduation in 1964, Comstock split his day between law and banking: starting work at 5:30 a.m. for the bank, then going back to his practice at in the afternoon.

Comstock’s accomplishments are many, including serving as Chair and CEO of the Bank of Baltimore for nearly a year before it was sold.

Looking forward, Comstock hopes to help continue National Capital Bank’s stellar reputation. The bank was just given a five star rating by Bauer Financial for the hundredth quarter in a row.

“I would like to keep that record going,” Comstock said.

Comstock has five children and nine grandchildren and serves on the board of trustees for the National Shrine and for Catholic University for the past 25 years. He is also chair of the fund, “Forward in Faith.”

In his downtime, Comstock is all about family. He and his wife like to travel, and are going to Normandy this summer.

“I have one son and daughter-in-law that work at the Capitol, so I hope to have time to have lunch with them from time to time,” he said.

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