The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will meet today to set deposit insurance assessment rates for the first half of 1999. The board will set rates for both the Bank Insurance Fund and the Savings Association Insurance Fund. Except for a special assessment in 1996 to recapitalize the thrift fund, rates for these funds have not risen since the system of risk-based premiums was introduced in 1993.

In the most recent assessment period-the second half of 1998-banks and thrifts were charged between 0 and 27 basis points per $100 insured deposits, but 95% of banks and 92% of thrifts paid no premiums at all.

Last month, FDIC Chairman Donna A. Tanoue said agency staff were reviewing the risk-based premium system to ensure that, in the future, healthy banks taking unusual risks were charged higher premiums than their more conservative peers. But an agency spokesman said such changes would not be put into place until the second half of 1999, at the earliest. Invoices for the first-half 1999 assessment period will be sent to banks and thrifts in November.

Also at today's meeting, the board will consider a proposed "know-your- customer" rule to help FDIC-supervised banks spot illegal activity by customers. The Federal Reserve Board and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued similar proposals earlier this month.

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