To the Editor:

In his April 6 commentary ("A Package Deal Could Give Banks a Stake in Helping Thrift Fund," page 5), William Isaac quotes a leading bank executive as saying his company would "lay out the $140 million (its share of the Fico bailout cost) if the legislative package contains benefits that would bring no less than $140 million of value to his shareholders."

He suggested "insurance powers would go a long way," larger banks would find Glass-Steagall repeal appealing, and community banks could be "quite excited about a small-bank exemption from the Community Reinvestment Act."

As community bankers, we are not "turned on" by such offers. We find the intellectual concept that bankers alone should be required to pay for regulatory relief repugnant. Regulatory relief more than stands on its own merits as being good for banking and for the American economy. It is shocking that Bill Isaac sees it as something that should be traded for.

Why all the concern about the future disparity of insurance premiums between banks and thrifts? Why aren't those same people concerned that community banks pay FDIC premiums on more than 80% of their deposits, while most major banks pay premiums on less than 40% of theirs?

Why are they not concerned about the taxation disparity between credit unions and banks? Aren't those differentials much larger than what will exist should our premiums be reduced and the Savings Association Insurance Fund's remain the same? Kenneth H. Rayborn President and chief executive First Citizens Bank Cleveland, Tenn.

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