Community Bankers Association of Illinois

Co-Sponsors Needed for H.R. 2897, the FDIC Assessment Act

No issue may better define the separate and distinct interests of Community Banks and Wall Street Banks than the debate over the assessment method for calculating FDIC premiums.

Representative Luis Guitierrez (D-4, Chicago) introduced H.R. 2897, The Bank Accountability and Assessment Act, which would require too-big-too-fail banks to pay a systemic risk premium to the FDIC and would base insurance premiums on a bank’s assets minus tier-one capital instead of domestic deposits.

Under the current system that assesses only domestic deposits, banks with less than $10 billion in assets pay approximately 30% of total FDIC premiums although they hold approximately 20% of total bank assets. Furthermore, community banks pay assessments on nearly their entire balance sheet, while Wall Street Banks pay on less than half.

According to FDIC data, 99% of U.S. banks with less than $1 billion in assets will pay lower premiums based on assets minus tier-one capital than the current method. The nation’s largest banks would be required to pay a greater share of the cost.

We’ve heard from members of the Illinois congressional delegation that the Wall Street Banks are lobbying hard to oppose the Guitierrez bill. Their effort has been described as a “full-court press.” It’s no wonder that the ABA and the IBA have been silent on this issue; they are conflicted by their largest dues-paying members.

CBAI has no conflict. We need your help and we need it today. We ask that you send an email to your member of Congress to build support for the Guitierrez bill. CBAI has prepared a customizable letter to members of the Illinois Congressional delegation. We want you to know that Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-9, Evanston), Representative Mike Quigley (D-5, Chicago) and Representative Bill Foster (D-14, Batavia) have already signed on to this measure. If you are in their district, please send them an email thanking them for their support.

Community bankers nationwide have sent more than 3,000 letters to Capitol Hill supporting the legislation. But it’s clear we need more help to offset the pressure of opposition by the Wall Street Banks.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Kraig Lounsberry, CBAI SVP, Governmental Relations at 800/736-2224, or via email at

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