WASHINGTON (12/20/07)—The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Wednesday announced a 14% increase in comprehensive income for the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) for the first nine months of this year. That increase represented earnings of $1.6 billion, which the FDIC said increased the fund balance to $51.8 billion as of Sept. 30. Also, excluding exit fees of $345 million earned during the first quarter of 2006, which was a one-time adjustment, comprehensive income rose by $539 million, or 51%, from a year ago. DIF assessments were $170 million for the third quarter of 2007, compared to $140 million for the second quarter. The $30 million increase primarily resulted from a reduction in the estimate of assessment credits to be used by financial institutions to offset gross assessments, according to an FDIC release. Also on Wednesday, the agency proposed a two-part plan to improve the process for determining uninsured depositors at larger institutions in the event of a failure. The measure was designed to enhance the FDIC's ability to make funds promptly available to insured deposit customers if a large financial institution were to be closed, an event the FDIC assured is “unlikely.” The first section of the proposal relates to “covered institutions,” which the FDIC said are those with at least $2 billion in domestic deposits, have more than 250,000 deposit accounts, or have total assets of more than $20 billion, regardless of the number of deposits or accounts. Currently, the agency identifies 159 FDIC-insured institutions that meet the criteria. The second section applies to all FDIC-insured institutions, regardless of size, and governs the specific time and circumstance under which account balances will be determined in the event of a failure, the release explained. The FDIC is proposing to use the end-of-day ledger balance as normally calculated by the institution. There will be a 90-day comment period beginning when the proposal is published in the Federal Register.