Obama considers fee for large banks

Jan. 12, 2010 at 8:55 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Administration officials said President Barack Obama is considering a fee for large U.S. banks to make up for losses in the $700 billion bank bailout program.

The fee would likely be part of the president's budget proposal and aims to make up $120 billion lost in the Troubled Asset Relief Program -- an estimate that may change in the future, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

Politically, the fee is also meant to placate voters angry that banks contributed to the two-year recession, but quickly returned to profitability and awarding staff huge bonus checks.

Rep. Barney Frank, chair of the House Financial Services Committee said he encouraged the White House to pursue a fee.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs did not confirm a fee was on the way, but said the president was determined to have the bank bailout program at least break even.

Reportedly, Obama's team has already rejected a tax targeting bank bonus checks and a tax on bank transactions.

President of the American Bankers Association Edward Yingling called the proposal a "burden" that would decrease bank lending.

Timothy Ryan, president of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association said "institutions and individual investors" would bear the brunt of the fee's costs to banks, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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