The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency will announce today that it is slashing fees by 12% for 600 national banks.

The fee reduction will not affect the largest bank within a holding company. But all affiliated banks will pay less.

"We are starting to pass along some of our cost savings of supervising national banks in holding companies under risk-based supervision," Comptroller Eugene A. Ludwig said in a prepared statement. "It takes fewer OCC resources to supervise these banks."

The agency is reducing fees at affiliated banks because examiners spend less time there than they do at the lead bank. During the lead bank exam, regulators must determine the company's overall risk profile. They then can rely on that assessment when they review the affiliates. An interim rule will be published shortly in the Federal Register; the public will have 30 days to comment.

More than 200 of the banks affected have less than $1 billion in assets. About 300 are in the $1 billion to $10 billion asset range; the rest have more than $10 billion in assets. A bank with $500 million in assets, for example, will pay about $98,000 in fees next year - a $13,000 reduction.

A December 1995 plan to base fees on the health of each national bank is still languishing at the OCC.

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