Now that lawmakers appear set on shoring up the Savings Association Insurance Fund, individual institutions are lobbying for special provisions in the legislation.
For example, California giants World Savings and Loan and Home Savings of America want Congress to move up the date on which SAIF-insured deposits are counted by one year to March 31, 1996.
The date change could save the thrifts roughly $70 million because they have sold deposits since March 1995. Without the change, "my clients would be paying for $12 billion in deposits they no longer have," said Ken McLean, a lobbyist working for both World and Home.
Mr. McLean also wants the "haircut" given to banks that own thrift deposits, so-called Oakar banks, to be doubled to 40%.
Congress agreed to cut the Oakars' share of the special assessment on the grounds that much of the deposits they acquired from thrifts have run off.
A bigger haircut for Oakars would help thrifts by reducing the size of the special assessment. But it would hurt banks that don't own thrifts deposits because Oakar deposits would be counting as part of the Bank Insurance Fund. Adding all that money would dilute the bank fund's reserves by about $700 million, Mr. McLean said.
Chief lobbyist Edward L. Yingling said the American Bankers Association opposes a larger haircut, but isn't actively lobbying the issue.
"It hasn't got a prayer. There are literally dozens of these kinds of ideas, but everybody on the Hill is telling us they don't want to reopen those issues," he said.
The ABA and a host of corporate trade groups have teamed to block legislation they say would increase the cost of managing mutual funds for retirement plans by 40%.
The legislation, pushed by Sens. Paul Simon, D-Ill., and Jim Jeffords, R-Vt., would allow pension fund auditors to demand full reviews of retirement plans managed by regulated financial institutions, such as banks, insurance companies, or mutual-fund groups.
The two lawmakers and the Labor Department are pushing to tack the provision to a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, but broad industry opposition is expected to kill it.
"We've been assured that this isn't going to be included in the FAA bill," said Sarah Miller, general counsel for the ABA's securities division.
The ABA's allies include the Investment Company Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Manufacturers Association, and the National Employee Benefits Institute.
Current law requires only "limited scope audits" for pension funds kept at these regulated financial institutions.
The trade groups argue fund managers are already subject to strict regulation from the SEC and bank regulators. "There's no compelling evidence that additional audits are needed," said Ms. Miller.
At $204,000, Banking Committee Chairman Alfonse M. D'Amato is the Senate's top recipient of contributions from banking and lending political action committees during the 1996 election cycle.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, next in line are banking committee members Phil Gramm, R-Tex., and Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who have received $125,000 and $100,000 respectively. The top Democratic recipient was Montana's Max Baucus with $68,676.
Sens. Gramm and Baucus are up for reelection this year. Sens. D'Amato and Shelby don't face a ballot until 1998.