White House Considering Bank Fees to Recoup Bailout Funds

By Sarah Borchersen-Keto, CCH Washington News Bureau, Contributing Author, the CCH Federal Banking Law Reporter, Jan. 12, 2010.

The White House is considering implementing a fee on banks in an effort to recoup Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds made available to the industry during the financial crisis, administration spokesmen said.

“That’s one idea that’s out there,” said White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton January 12. “The president has said that he wants to make taxpayers whole and that’s exactly what he’s going to set out to do,” Burton added.

Details of any plan would likely be unveiled in the 2011 fiscal budget, which President Obama will submit to Congress next month.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, asked a day earlier whether there will be something specific in the budget that ensures that taxpayers are repaid in full, replied, “that’s the president’s goal, yes.”

Gibbs, meanwhile, reiterated the administration’s frustration with Wall Street’s compensation practices and said the subject still makes Obama “visibly angry.” Gibbs accused Wall Street of failing to listen to the American public. “I think there’s a divergence in reality as to what’s going on in this economy if you talk to somebody that is in line for a huge cash bonus at a Wall Street firm and a small business on Main Street that’s trying to get a loan,” he said.