WASHINGTON - National banks will pay 3% less for the Comptroller of the Currency's supervision next year.

More importantly, the agency announced last week that it will stop basing its rates on a national bank's size. Top agency officials were out of the country and agency spokeswoman Naomi Salus could not provide details on how or when the new system would be implemented. However, rates will be differentiated based on the condition of individual national banks, according to a press release from the agency.

For the supervision bill due Jan. 31, the 3% rate cut will shave $6,600 from the $198,200 owed by a $1 billion-asset bank. This is the second consecutive cut in rates by the Comptroller's office; 1995 fees were trimmed 6%.

"The reductions made for 1996 added to the reductions in assessments and fees made in 1995 will provide national banks with nearly $58 million in annual savings for the past two years," Comptroller Eugene A. Ludwig said in a statement last week.

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