It's down to the wire for Paul A. Schosberg, president of America's Community Bankers. The thrift trade group has been pushing Congress to rescue the Savings Association Insurance Fund since 1994, and if lawmakers don't enact the legislation before adjourning in late September, thrifts will be stuck paying more than banks for deposit insurance until at least next spring.

A compromise was crafted this summer that requires thrifts to ante up about $5 billion to capitalize their fund and spreads the cost of paying off Financing Corp., or Fico, bonds to banks. As part of the deal, banking's share of the costs was reduced for three years and the industry was given relief from some government red tape.

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