WASHINGTON - The Clinton administration has resurrected a proposal to require federal agencies to charge for examinations of state-chartered banks.
The seven-year balanced budget plan released by the President Thursday would require the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to impose a fee to cover the costs of supervising FDIC-insured banks and bank holding companies - something the Fed and FDIC do not now do. The fee has been recommended several times in the past as a revenue-raiser.
The congressional budget plan vetoed by the President Wednesday included no such fees, and Congress has shown little enthusiasm for similar proposals. But banking groups, which oppose the fees, are still concerned.
"It's still alive," said Kenneth A. Guenther, executive vice president of the Independent Bankers Association of America. "It has to be taken seriously."
The American Bankers Association ripped the proposal in a Dec. 8 letter to President Clinton, saying state-chartered banks already pay fees to state regulators. "Imposition of this fee would undermine the dual banking system because state-chartered banks would be paying two fees," ABA executive vice president Donald Ogilvie wrote.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Office of Thrift Supervision already assess federally chartered banks and thrifts for the cost of examinations.
But the Fed and the FDIC, which share supervisory responsibilities for nonfederal institutions, pay for their exams out of other income. The Fed uses interest earnings on the reserves, while the FDIC draws on deposit insurance premiums all banks and thrifts must pay.
The administration argues that this means federally chartered institutions are subsidizing their state-chartered counterparts.
The President's budget plan includes another new fee bankers won't like - a monthly charge on secondary markets for student loans made by private lenders.
"The smaller lender that sells off student loans - the vast majority of lenders in the program - are going to get a lower price from secondary markets," said John E. Dean, special counsel to the Consumer Bankers Association.
The 30-basis-point fee would be based on the principal amount of each student loan held.
In addition to this fee, the proposal retained a number of cost increases for lenders contained in the congressional budget bill, which President Clinton vetoed last week.
Under the president's plan, financial institutions would share 5% of defaulted loans. Currently, the government guarantees 98 cents of every dollar of a loan. The proposal would drop that figure to 95 cents.
Additionally, as in the recently vetoed bill, lenders would pay an origination fee of 80 basis points on the principal of new loans under the administration's proposal. That's a 60% increase from the current 50-basis- point fee on lenders.
President Clinton also proposed removing all limitations on his direct loan program's market share. The congressional budget bill contained a 10% cap on the government's share of the market.