The problem facing the Savings Association Insurance Fund really boils down to how to handle the Fico bonds, says consultant Bert Ely. These obligations, authorized in 1987, have become an intolerable burden for thrifts, he said, especially after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. decided that SAIF-insured banks need not help pay. Mr. Ely says he believes banks must share the cost of the Fico bonds. In an interview with American Banker editors and reporters, he outlined what he saw as a path toward a "win-win" solution. The longtime thrift industry observer also suggested that thrifts that are chartering national banks in an effort to avoid high insurance premiums may be thwarted.

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