The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation approved a regulatory change for basing its fees on assets minus average tangible equity rather than a fee system based on domestic deposits. The regulator also updated a proposed change to the deposit insurance assessment system that replaces a revision approved in April and eliminates risk categories and debt ratings for the assessment calculation of large banks and replaces that with scorecards. Chairman Sheila Bair said the changes achieve the goals of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act "to better reflect risks" to the deposit insurance fund. The scorecards would be more predictive of long-term performance, the FDIC said, and a large financial institution would continue to be defined as one with at least $10 billion in assets. The FDIC has closed 143 banks so far this year on top of 140 last year. This has has pushed the deposit insurance fund, which protects depositors upon a bank's failure, into a negative position of more than $15 billion, and one market watcher thinks it will remain negative for some time. "We have proposed adjusting the treatment of brokered deposits and unsecured liabilities and eliminating higher rates associated with excessive reliance on secured funding," Bair said. "In addition, as with the April proposal, we have revamped the large bank premium system to focus on risk over the entire credit cycle. Over the long term, institutions that pose higher risk would pay higher assessments when they assume these risks rather than when conditions deteriorate. During the crisis, it became clear that our large bank pricing metrics were lagging indicators of financial deterioration, to a greater extent than the metrics we use for smaller institutions." Banks pay a quarterly fee to the FDIC to maintain the insurance fund and protect depositors. Write to Jason Philyaw.