Washington - After several sharp increase in deposit insurance premiums, federal regulators now think no further jumps in the average rate will be necessary.
The prediction will be released today when, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. takes a stab at projecting the premium rates it will charge banks over the next 15 years.
The projections, which are required by Congress, are not binding and could be changed if estimate of industry losses increase.
22% Hike Proposed
But at the moment, the agency does not think it will have to raise premiums again after the 22% hike already proposed for next Jan 1. which would boost the average price to 28 cents for each $100 of deposits.
"We don't anticipate the rate going any higher," said an FDIC official, who did not want to be named.
The average premium is expected to to remain at 28 cents for at least four years before starting to decline, the official said.
The FDIC today is expected to propose a 15-year timetable to build the Bank Insurance Fund's reserves to the level mandated by Congress - $ 1.25 for every $100 in insured deposits.
Some banking experts feared that the FDIC might to reach that goal ahead premiums. But sharply hiking premiums. But the FDIC official said the agency plans to use the full 15 years allowed.
The official stressed that the projection is subject to future revisions because key assumptions might prove to be in error.
The forecase assumes, for instances, that bank deposits will grow 2.8% a year that resolution costs will be the equavalent of 17% of a failed bank's assets, compared with 18% in 1991.
Deficit of $7 Billion
Getting the insurance fund to 1.25% will be costly for the industry. Currently, the fund has a deficit of $7 billion, which translates into a reserves-to-deposits ratio of negative 0.36%, its lowest level in history.
The insurance fund's reverse ratio hasn't been at 1.25% of insured deposits since 1971, when savings accounts were insured to $20,000. Insured deposits at banks totaled just $375 billion, as oppose to almost $2 trillion today, and the insurance fund had $4.8 billion to cover losses.
The ratio was at least 1.10% every year through 1987. Then, the fund began declining rapidly because of the costs associated with record bank failures.
Last month, the FDIC proposed a risk-based insurance system that will take effect next Jan. 1. While the average rate will be 28 cents, weak banks will pay more than strong ones.
More Timer for Comments
The agency has invited public comments on the proposed increase. The FDIC's board is expected to delay the deadline for filing comments to mid-August, from July 21, so the industry can comments on the recapitalization schedule and the increase at the same time.
The agency previously publised two scenarios under which the fund could reach 1.25% by 2006. But both of them assumed that the premium rate on Jan. 1 would be 30 cents, a level that had been favored by FDIC Chairman William Taylor, and not the 28 cents favored by the majority of the FDIC board.
The timetable released today will reflect the lower number, the source said.
Under the most optimistic of the previously publised scenarios, premiums begin to come down in 1996 to 23 cents and as low as 8.5 cents in 1999.
The pessimistic prediction shows premium dropping to 27 cents in 1997 and staying at that level for 24 cents per $100 through 2006.
Revising the scenarios to use 28 cents means that the first cut in premiums will occur somewhat later, according to a source.
Also on the agenda for today's meeting, The FDIC intends to give advance notice of proposed rulemaking that poses questions about how best to develop the safety and soundness, standards required by last year's banking law.