Two area banks still owe TARP funds

Two of the 15 area banks that received funds from the Treasury Department as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program have yet to pay back the government.

Severn Bancorp owes $23.4 million, while Annapolis Bancorp still owes $4.1 million, or half of the $8.2 million it originally borrowed.

Thomas Bevivino, chief financial officer of Annapolis-based Severn Bank, said the bank has the necessary funds to buy back the preferred stock that it sold to the government in November 2008, but is awaiting regulatory approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve.

“We have a lot of capital, but we need approval from our regulators, which we don’t have,” Bevivino said, adding that the bank hoped to pay back TARP by the end of this year.

Annapolis Bancorp, which is in the process of being purchased by Hermitage, Pa.-based FNB Corporation, is expected to buy back outstanding shares before the acquisition closes in April. The bank paid back the first half of its TARP loan in early 2012.

There is no hard deadline for banks to pay back TARP, but beginning in January 2014, the dividend banks must pay to the Treasury will jump from the current rate of 5 percent to 9 percent.

The Treasury’s Capital Purchase Program was created during the economic downturn to help boost lending by banks. The Treasury, which doled out $245 billion to banks, has recovered $268 billion with dividends to date.

Last month, Virginia Commerce Bancorp in Arlington announced that it had repurchased all $71 million in preferred stock from the Treasury.

Abha Bhattarai covers local retail, hospitality and banking for The Washington Post. She has previously written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times.

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