WASHINGTON - The 12 district Federal Reserve banks will add 300 people to their supervision and regulation forces next year, according to a plan approved Wednesday by the Federal Reserve Board.

The staff additions are needed to implement regulatory changes required by congressional legislation last year, Fed governors said. Under the 1991 banking law, the Fed must step up supervision of the 386 foreign banks operating in the United States.

New employees also are needed to monitor consumer regulations, including truth-in-savings disclosures.

$1.8 Billion Budget

Overall, the board approved a 1993 budget for all 12 district banks of $1.8 billion, a 10.7% increase over estimated expenses this year. The added staff will bring total employment to 24,586.

"We have to keep in mind that the country has gone through quite a period of adjustment with regard to financial institutions," Governor Wayne Angell said in recommending the 1993 budget for the district banks.

The total personnel devoted to supervision and regulation at the regional Fed banks will rise by 12% next year, to 2,929. Total resources for this division will increase 16%, to $321 million.

Big Increase in New York

Close to half the new employees in supervision and regulation will be hired by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which will handle much of the increased supervision of foreign banks. The Chicago, Atlanta, and Philadelphia banks will also see sizable staff increases.

During the last five years, supervision and regulation costs at the district banks have increased 11.7% annually, Mr. Angell said.

The Fed Board had previously approved a $137 million budget for the Washington headquarters, covering 239 in staff and including $49 million just for supervision and regulation.

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