A last-ditch attempt by some banks to postpone or water down a deposit insurance scheme has fallen on deaf ears at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. 'There is no change. We are still on track to have the relevant bill ready by the end of the year,' an HKMA spokesman said yesterday. Bankers had been lobbying the authority to either make further changes to the fund size and the premium that would be levied to raise the fund or delay its introduction until the economy was in a better shape. The lobbying got under way this year in a public appeal from Hong Kong Association of Banks (HKAB) chairman Liu Jinbao, who said the scheme should not be introduced while economic conditions were poor. Mr Liu also called on the HKMA to further cut the target amount of the fund to HK$1 billion. The authority had already reduced the fund's target from a HK$3 billion to HK$5 billion range to HK$1.5 billion. To achieve a fund of that size - which would pay out depositors up to HK$100,000 in the event of their bank failing - would require a standard premium at eight basis points (or 0.08 per cent) of insured deposits, with lower risk-rated banks enjoying a discount on this standard premium and higher risk-rated banks paying slightly more. A government spokeswoman said the proposed scheme had the support of the Policy Bureau.