6 banks repay bailouts; program nears break-even

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The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 16, 2011; 7:13 PM

WASHINGTON -- Six more banks repaid their government bailouts, bringing the bank capital program close to 99 percent recovery, the Treasury Department said Wednesday.

The department received proceeds of $475 million when the banks repurchased preferred shares and other investments that the Treasury Department got in exchange for its cash injections.

Banks received a total of $245 billion under the program. The Treasury Department has collected about $244 billion in repayments, fees and other income from banks.

The department expects the bank program will finish with a profit of about $20 billion.

Losses are expected, however, on the administration's struggling foreclosure-prevention programs. Money from those programs goes to homeowners, mortgage companies and investors. If homeowners' payments are lowered successfully, the government can't recover that cash.

Losses also are possible from the automaker bailouts. And it's not clear whether taxpayers will recoup the money used to prop up insurance conglomerate American International Group Inc.

Those costs might offset the extra revenue from the bank investments.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the programs, drawn from a $700 billion fund known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, will cost $25 billion. The Treasury Department says the number will be lower once it has sold off some of its AIG shares. The government now owns 92 percent of that company.

The deals announced Wednesday:

- Fifth Third Bancorp., based in Cincinnati, paid $280 million to rebuy warrants. Warrants are investments that give their owners the right to buy new shares at a set price on some future date. Treasury obtained them from most of the bailed-out banks as a deal-sweetener.

Fifth Third repaid $3.4 billion of Treasury's original investment last month.

- National Penn Bancshares Inc., based in Boyertown, Penn., repaid $150 million of bailout money, and forked over $645,833 of dividends that it owed to Treasury.

- Lakeland Bancorp Inc., based in Oak Ridge, N.J. repaid $20 million of bailout money and paid $86,111 in dividends. The bank still holds $19 million of bailout money.

- Stockmens Financial Corp., based in Rapid City., S.D. repaid its remaining $11.6 million bailout and paid $49,807 in dividends. The bank also repurchased preferred shares that Treasury obtained by exercising warrants for $778,000, and paid $6,030 of dividends on those shares.

- Bridge Capital Holdings, based in San Jose, Calif. repaid $8.9 million in bailout money and coughed up $38,164 in dividends.

- Heritage Bancshares, based in Norfolk, Va., repaid $2.6 million of its bailout and $11,220 in dividends.

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