Higher fees have few friends, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s proposed special assessment—aimed at rebuilding the dwindling Deposit Insurance Fund—is no exception. The Independent Community Bankers of America expressed its distaste for the assessment in its recent comment letter to the FDIC.

“Whether it’s a 20 basis point or a 10 basis points assessment, the special assessment, when combined with the high base assessment rates for 2009, is an excessive burden and unfairly penalizes community banks,” wrote Karen M. Thomas executive vice president and director of the ICBA’s government relations group. Thomas had a couple of suggestions for the FDIC, including: basing all assessments on total assets, minus tangible capital; allowing banks to amortize assessment costs over a 5-7 year period; pinning a “systemic risk premium” on too-big-to-fail institutions; tapping its line of credit at Treasury; and issuing bonds to the public.

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