NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- President Barack Obama's plan to limit the size and scope of commercial banks, announced Thursday, overshadowed an earlier proposal to charge fees to recoup the cost of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.
What's clear is that Obama, who hasn't provided details of either plan, probably will need to lower or delay the fees as financial institutions are straining to post profits.
Fifty-two U.S. and foreign companies would be subject to the fees, according to SNL Financial. A table of the 20 that would pay the highest annual amounts are below.
SNL based its estimates on the fact sheet provided by the administration, with fees charged to "banks and thrifts, insurance and other companies that own insured depository institutions and broker-dealers" operating in the U.S. with at least $50 billion in assets.The fees would be 15 basis points (0.15%) of "covered liabilities," defined as total assets excluding tier 1 capital and FDIC-assessed deposits or insurance policy reserves. While the proposed Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee carries the laudable goal of "getting our money back" by collecting capital over 10 years to cover an estimated $117 billion in TARP costs, the uniform formula for assessing fees will have to be tweaked. The fee would go into effect June 30. That's too soon for Citigroup (C - Get Report), which is still losing money, and for CIT Group (CIT - Get Report), which filed for bankruptcy in November and owes $2.3 billion. Some companies that received TARP money won't be charged the fee. Recipients such as Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) will need to tread carefully, but the $50 billion cutoff on asset size seems arbitrary and could cause a backlash from the largest banks. After all, medium-sized regional banks such as Synovus (SNV - Get Report) may not have survived the crisis without government aid.