All banks would have to file call reports electronically or on computer disk by Dec. 31, 1997, under a proposal unveiled by regulators this month.

The proposed requirement, drafted by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, would be phased in during the next year. Institutions with more than $50 million of assets would have to start filing electronically by June 30, and those with assets greater than $25 million would have to make the switch by Sept. 30. All other banks would be phased in by yearend.

Robert F. Storch, accounting section chief for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., said 75% of banks already use the software needed to generate electronic reports.

"The agencies felt the industry's acceptance of call report software has reached critical mass," he said last week at an American Institute of Certified Public Accountants conference. Banks that are not yet "computer literate" could hire vendors to convert their paper reports, he said.

Comments on the proposal are due to the council by Jan. 3.

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