WASHINGTON -- Andrew C. Hove Jr., acting chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., has urged Congress to extend a moratorium in current law that bars thrifts from switching insurance funds.

However, in a letter to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Donald W. Riegle, D-Mich., he warned that a looming premium disparity between banks and thrifts threatens efforts to recapitalize the Savings Association Insurance Fund -- even if the moratorium is extended.

In his Sept. 23 letter, Mr. Hove noted that the thrift industry is obliged to pay interest for the next 25 years on bonds sold to recapitalize the now-defunct Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Fund.

Lengthy Impact of Debt Service

Given the current assessment base, he said, debt service on those bonds amounts to 10 cents for each $100 of deposits. "Even if the insurance losses of the two funds are comparable in the future, a differential premium rate will exist for most of the next 25 years," he added.

As a result, he said, thrifts will try to finance an increased share of their assets with liabilities other than insured deposits.

"This could ultimately frustrate any attempt to recapitalize the SAIF and could threaten the ability of the industry to fund FICO payments," he added, referring to the financing corporation that services the bonds.

A House bill would extend the moratorium 18 months, until April 1, 1995. A Senate bill does not address the moratorium, which expires at the end of this month.

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