WASHINGTON National banks are being hit with the first increase in supervisory fees since 1994 as the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Thursday said it will hike assessments by 2% next year to account for inflation.
The agency expects the increase will add roughly $5 million to its annual $410 million budget.
The OCC plans to generate another $3.2 million by basing some supervisory fees on assets under management, rather than assets owned. The move will affect independent trust banks, a small but growing segment.
There were 39 independent trust banks managing $860 billion of assets at the end of last year, the Comptrollers Office said. Since then nine more have been chartered, and 10 companies, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., have applications pending.
Full-service national banks that offer trust services will continue to pay fees based on their asset size.
The 2% increase in supervisory fees will apply only to the first $20 billion of assets a bank holds, and the largest increase paid by a national bank will be $46,872, according to the Comptrollers Office. A $20 billion-asset banks annual fees will climb to $2.39 million, the agency said.
The OCC said it settled on a 2% hike because the inflation rate over the 12 months that ended June 30 was 2.01%. The agency noted that the cost of living has increased 16% since 1994, the last year national bank assessments were raised.
Under pressure as a wave of national banks converted to state charters in 1994, the Comptrollers Office cut its fees by 6% and suspended increases tied to inflation in 1995. Assessments were cut another 3% in 1996, and in 1997 the agency decided to reduce the cost of supervising nonlead banks by 12%.
Separately Thursday, the OCC proposed two rules. One would allow branches or agencies of foreign banks to establish operating subsidiaries units banks use to enter new lines of business. The other would let national banks offer trust services in any state without getting prior approval.