WASHINGTON — The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Tuesday said the Bank Insurance Fund’s comprehensive income — net income plus unrealized gains or losses on securities available for sale — was $1.56 billion last year, a dramatic turnaround from a $198 million loss in 1999.

The agency attributed the nearly $1.76 billion swing to two factors: reduced expectations of bank failure costs and unrealized securities gains. In 2000 the bank fund lowered its reserves to cover the cost of failures by $153 million, a dramatic change from the $1.17 billion boost to reserves made in 1999. For 2000 the agency slashed by 54%, to $141 million, its contingent liabilities for anticipated bank failures.

The bank fund recorded an unrealized gain of $300 million last year on securities available for sale, compared to a $92 million unrealized loss in 1999. BIF ended 2000 with $31 billion, up 5.3% from 1999. Its reserves-to-insured deposits ratio was 1.35%.

The Savings Association Insurance Fund’s comprehensive income rose 8.4% last year, to $478 million. But the FDIC more than quadrupled, to $234 million, its estimate of future costs from thrift failures. The agency added $181 million to the thrift fund’s provisions to cover losses, compared to a $31 million increase in 1999. “The FDIC has recently identified a small number of additional SAIF-insured financial institutions that may pose a greater risk to the insurance fund unless institution management can resolve existing problems,” the agency said in a release.

“If these institutions fail, they may cause a material loss to the SAIF.”

The thrift fund’s bottom line, however, also got a boost from unrealized securities gains, which increased by $114 million last year, compared with a $36 million unrealized loss last year. With $10.8 billion, the SAIF reserve ratio was 1.43% on Dec. 31.

Figures on both funds were released as part of the agency’s 2000 unaudited financial results.

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