WASHINGTON -- The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Wednesday unveiled a three-year plan to slash its liquidation staff in half -- and save the agency $266 million.

The FDIC plans to shed 3,300 employees and close 15 of its 22 liquidation offices, said John Bovenzi, division director.

And 1996, annual savings resulting from the cutbacks will total $170 million, he added.

As banks failures have dwindled, the FDIC's work load has decreased. The agency began 1993 with $44 billion in assets inherited from failed banks. Through August, that total had been whittled down to $32.5 billion -- and Mr. Bovenzi is expecting to sell off another $5 billion by yearend.

The office closings come on top of the three shut down already this year. Scheduled for closure in 1994 are FDIC offices in Encino and San Jose, Calif., and in Houston, San Antonio, Denver, and Orlando. "As the work load has shrunk around the country, we need fewer and fewer consolidated offices," Mr. Bovenzi said.

Name Change Planned

The liquidation division also is changing its name to the division of depositor and asset services. Mr. Bovenzi said the new name gives the division a "more positive emphasis."

About 3,000 of the targeted employees have been working for the FDIC on temporary contracts and can be fired relatively easily.

The remaining 300 employees are career government employees who are expected to leave on their own through natural attrition, Mr. Bovenzi said.

The liquidation division is the FDIC's largest, representing about 44% of the agency's total work force.

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