Risky banks should pay a higher deposit insurance premium, but the rate shouldn't be based on bank size
Regulating bank size through the back door.
Some of the largest U.S. banks would have to pay higher government fees under a proposal that federal regulators are considering to discourage risky behavior by big financial institutions.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s five-member board approved a preliminary proposal Tuesday that would alter the way the agency assesses deposit-insurance fees for banks with more than $10 billion in assets.
Regulators would use new financial measures to gauge a bank's risk profile and how the bank would deal with financial stresses. Those determined to be more risky, or which would cost the FDIC more if they were to fail, would have to pay more to the government.
Additionally, the proposal would allow the FDIC to take a special look at "highly complex" financial institutions: those with more than $50 billion in assets and holding company assets of more than $500 billion. FDIC staff said these firms, which number less than 10, would be subject to additional risk evaluations given the nature of their business.
The proposed change wouldn't result in the FDIC receiving more money but would shift the burden for funding the deposit-insurance fund to riskier, large institutions. FDIC staff said if it had been in place at the end of 2009, roughly half of large banks would have paid higher fees, while the other half would have paid less. . . .