Community bankers are angry over a last-minute FDIC assessment they say is punishing Main Street banks for the financial crisis created by Wall Street banks. “We’re being asked once again to shoulder more of the responsibility than we caused,” says Preston Kennedy, director-elect of the Independent Community Bankers of America and president of the Bank of Zachary. “We didn’t participate in the high-risk stuff, but we’re being asked to pay for it.”
The FDIC recently voted to impose a one-time special assessment on all insured banks to boost the Deposit Insurance Fund to help deal with “a significant strains on banks and the financial system and the likelihood of a severe recession.” Bankers were anticipating a 20-basis-points hike to shore up the insurance fund early this year, but not the special assessment.
According to the ICBA, most banks pay from 12 cents to 14 cents per $100 of deposits for insurance. Under the final rule, the rate will go to 12 cents to 16 cents per $100 on an annual basis beginning April 1. Kennedy projects the assessment would cost his bank $27,000 a year. The Bank of Zachary has $1.27 million in assets.—Anna Thibodeaux