The FDIC Board on Tuesday approved a $2.68 billion operating budget for 2013, which marks an 18.2% decrease from the 2012 budget.
That includes a net reduction of 687 positions, and the FDIC said it is projecting further staff reductions in 2014 and future years.
"The budget approved today is consistent with the slow but steady recovery in the U.S. banking industry over the past three years," said Chairman Martin Gruenberg in a release.
The FDIC budget contrasts with the NCUA’s 2013 budget, which included a 6.1% increase over 2012. The FDIC said it will have 8,026 positions in 2013. The NCUA has 1,261.5 FTEs.
Over the long term, the NCUA’s budget has increased from $158.6 million in 2008 to $251.4 million for 2013, a 58% increase. In comparison, the FDIC’s 2013 budget of $2.68 billion represents a 116% increase over 2008.
However, the two budgets are difficult to compare, because the FDIC includes “receivership funding” in its operating budget, while the NCUA keeps expenses associated with failed credit union separate in the share insurance fund.
The FDIC budget experienced a 106% increase in 2009 and a 56% increase in 2010, primarily to account for failed banks. Since then, the FDIC’s budget has dropped: down 3% in 2011, 15% in 2012 and 19% for 2013.
However, when receivership costs are removed from the FDIC’s budget, the banking regulator has increased its operating budget at a greater pace than the NCUA during that same period.
In 2009, the NCUA’s operating budget increased by 12.1%, while the FDIC increased its “ongoing operations” budget – which does not include receivership costs – by 18%. The NCUA’s 2010 operating budget represented a 13% increase, compared to another 18% increase for the FDIC’s ongoing operations budget that same year.
In 2011 and 2012, the two agencies had similar operations budget increases: 13% and 6.3% for the FDIC, and 12% and 5.1% for the NCUA, respectively.
The 2013 budgets represent a departure from those trends. The FDIC’s 2013 ongoing operations budget shows a 0.1% increase from 2012, while the NCUA Board approved the 6.1% hike.
NCUA Public Affairs Specialist John Fairbanks pointed out that the 2013 budget keeps staffing at 2012 levels, and that the agency used zero-based budgeting to develop the 2013 budget, which required the justification for every projected expense.
“As a result, the 2013 NCUA budget amounts to just under 29 cents for every $1,000 of credit union deposits, down from almost 38 cents in 2000,” Fairbanks said. “Because of our efforts to keep spending in check, this ratio will fall for the second year in a row in 2013.”
However, Bill Hampel, CUNA senior vice president of research and policy analysis, was critical of the 2013 budget during a Dec. 10 press call, saying as the country emerges from the financial crisis, other financial regulators are cutting back on resources but the NCUA is not.
CUNA Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn applauded a webpage the NCUA recently added that provides detailed 2013 budget information, calling it a “positive move.” However, she was critical of the lack of budget hearings, which were discontinued under Chairman Debbie Matz.
Dunn was also critical of the NCUA’s increase in its travel budget, saying the FDIC has cut back on travel and utilized technology instead.