The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. moved last week to refill its Deposit Insurance Fund. In a step that drew mixed reviews from bankers, the FDIC’s board approved a special assessment of 20 basis points per $100 of deposits on the industry, effective June 30; the assessment will be collected on September 30. The interim rule also allows the FDIC to impose an “emergency assessment of up to 10 basis points if necessary to maintain public confidence in federal deposit insurance.” Meanwhile, the board adopted a final rule changing the assessment for best-risk institutions from 12-26 cents to 12-16 cents per $100, effective April 1. And the board extended its goal for raising the DIF reserve ratio to 1.15 percent from five year to seven years “in recognition of the current strains on bank and the financial system and the likelihood of a severe recession,” according to the agency.

Today there is “$19 billion available in the fund,” says FDIC spokesman Andrew Gray, while “$22 billion has been set aside for estimated losses on failures anticipated in 2009.” The DIF has declined to a 25-year low, while the “fund reserve ratio declined from 0.76 percent [on September 30, 2008] to 0.40 percent at year end,” Gray adds.

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