WASHINGTON -- Deposit insurance premiums could be cut in 1998, four years earlier than previously expected, according to new projections by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. staff.

An internal document, obtained by the American Banker, forecasts the average bank premium will fall by 15%, to 21 cents for every $ 100 of deposits, in 1998. The rate would plunge another 48%, to 11 cents, the next year. The current average is 24.6 cents.

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