Magazine article American Banker

OCC to Cut Exam Fees 6% Next Year, Hints at Additional Price Cuts in '96

Magazine article American Banker

OCC to Cut Exam Fees 6% Next Year, Hints at Additional Price Cuts in '96

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- The Comptroller of the Currency is lowering its exam fees by 6% next year and dropping plans to hike fees to cover inflation.

Together the moves are expected to save national banks $30 million in 1995. Comptroller Eugene A. Ludwig said Wednesday that assessments may go down again in 1996 if the agency continues to reduce costs.

"We're absolutely delighted with this announcement," said Karen M. Thomas, regulatory counsel at the Independent Bankers Association of America. "This is really true, fight-to-the-bottom line stuff for national banks."

Assessments are based on a bank's asset size, and are paid twice a year. The first payment for 1995 is due Jan. 31.

With the new rates, a $1 billion-asset national bank will see its assessment fall $13,000 to about $200,000. An exam of a bank with $40 billion in assets will fall $300,000 to $4.5 million, the Comptroller's office said.

The cut in exam fees follows an earlier decision to lower the cost of filing applications with the agency. Those changes are expected to produce another $10 million in savings for the industry.

To pay for these reductions, the Comptroller's office said it is folding its 19 field offices into district locations.

The agency also is trimming its staff by 150 to 3,900 by 1995. New streamlined exam procedures for well-managed banks also are cutting down on expenses, the agency said.

National banks had been expecting exam fees to go up 2% next year to cover inflation, but the agency is also dropping that idea. …

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