Subprime Rescue Fund May Attract Only $30 Billion

A banking industry fund to bail out structured investment vehicles reeling from the subprime mortgage crisis may only total $30 billion, down from recent estimates of $60 billion.

Bankers working on the fund said "if they're lucky," they might get $30 billion in SIV assets in the fund.

SIVs are off-balance-sheet funds used by banks to buy high-yielding assets like U.S. mortgages. They have run into trouble this year as investor interest has dried up, raising fears of a massive fire sale of SIV assets.

Citigroup , Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have been trying to launch a fund to prevent such a sell-off.

But the fund, dubbed the "Super SIV," has faced skepticism from market players who have said that since the fund will buy only high-quality assets, it will not be able to help weaker SIVs.

Moreover, several European banks like HSBC Holdings and Rabobank are moving on their own to bail out their respective funds, making the Citi-led SuperSIV less necessary.