WASHINGTON - All banks should pick up the tab for their federal regulatory exams and supervision, the Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee recommended this week.

In a statement issued Monday, the independent group, which analyzes and critiques regulatory policy, said its proposal stems from its concern that expanded banking activities allowed under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 may increase both risk and the cost of monitoring. "This cost should be borne by banks and bank holding companies, not taxpayers."

The panel recommended that the federal bank regulatory agencies explicitly charge banks and bank holding companies for the full cost of examinations and supervision, with institutions requiring more time and attention paying more. Presently only the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency explicitly charges national banks exam fees. The Federal Reserve pays for exams from the earnings on its assets, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation uses funds from deposit insurance premiums and investments.

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