WASHINGTON - In a recent letter to Congress, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Ricki Helfer asked for the power to return extra premium income to banks.

"The FDIC seeks the discretionary authority to rebate deposit insurance premiums to avoid excessive buildup in an insurance fund," Ms. Helfer wrote. "Given the difficulty of forecasting (expenses) accurately, under certain circumstances, a significant buildup in the insurance fund might occur."

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