Insurance News

Bank Failures Will Cost $19 Billion Through 2015, FDIC Says

Posted on: October 16, 2011

(Bloomberg) — U.S. bank failures through 2015 will drain $19 billion from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. fund for covering losses from shutdowns, the agency said in an update of its reserve ratio projections.

The $19 billion figure reported by the FDIC today is a decrease from the estimated $23 billion needed to cover bank failures in 2010, reflecting both the slowing rate of bank shutdowns and the impact of assessment increases imposed by the FDIC to bolster the Deposit Insurance Fund.

The fund, pushed into deficit by the wave of failures stemming from the 2008 credit crisis, turned positive as of June 30 after seven consecutive quarters of negative balances.

“The assessment that the insurance fund remains on the path to recovery and on track to meet the goals established by Congress is welcome news,” FDIC Acting Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg said in a statement. “As we seek to stay on track, it’s important to always be mindful of the challenges we face and ongoing risks to the insurance fund.”

Under current projections, FDIC assessment rates will boost the insurance fund to 1.15 percent of insured deposits in 2018, according to the agency’s statement. The regulator is required by the Dodd-Frank Act to increase the ratio to 1.35 percent by Sept. 30, 2020.

Today’s report shows that the FDIC may have gone farther than it needed to in increasing assessments, according to James Chessen, chief economist for the American Bankers Association.

“The FDIC had set aside $17.7 billion for possible bank failures losses at the start of 2011, twice what the actual losses are likely to be this year,” Chessen said in a statement. “Banks are paying $13.5 billion in yearly premiums to the FDIC, which is far in excess of the yearly costs expected by the FDIC over the next several years.”

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