On March 15, 2016, the FDIC adopted a final rule to increase the Deposit Insurance Fund to the statutorily required minimum level of 1.35 percent. Subject to certain minor changes, the rule largely mirrors the proposed rule, which was published for comment in November.

The primary purposes of the DIF are to protect the depositors of insured banks and to resolve failed banks. The DoddFrank Act increased the minimum for the DIF reserve ratio, the ratio of the amount in the fund to insured deposits, from 1.15 percent to 1.35 percent and required that the ratio reach that level by September 30, 2020. The reserve ratio at the end of 2015 was 1.11 percent, with a DIF balance of $72.6 billion.

The DIF is funded mainly through quarterly assessments on insured banks. Pursuant to a 2011 FDIC rule, regular assessment rates for all banks will decrease when the reserve ratio reaches 1.15 percent, which the FDIC anticipates will occur in the first half of 2016. Banks with total assets of less than $10 billion will have substantially lower assessment rates under the 2011 rule. The final rule will impose on banks with at least $10 billion in assets a surcharge of 4.5 cents per $100 of their assessment base, after making certain adjustments. The FDIC expects the reserve ratio will likely reach 1.35 percent after approximately two years of payments of the surcharges.

The final rule will become effective on July 1. If the reserve ratio reaches 1.15 percent before that date, surcharges will begin July 1. If the reserve ratio has not reached 1.15 percent by that date, surcharges will begin the first quarter after the reserve ratio reaches 1.15 percent.

The FDIC press release is available at: https://www.fdic.gov/news/news/press/2016/pr16021.html.

The final rule is available at: https://www.fdic.gov/news/board/2016/2016-03-15_notice_dis_b_fr.pdf