April 4, 2012 / 5:04 PM / 6 years ago

Treasury: Regions Financial repays TARP funds

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Regions Financial Corp (RF.N) has repaid $3.5 billion to the U.S. Treasury Department that it received under the bank bailout program and is now fully out of the financial crisis-era program, the Treasury said on Wednesday.

The Treasury said that after the latest payment, the overall positive return on bank investments made under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, has reached $18 billion.

A total of $245 billion was invested in banks under TARP’s bank programs and some $263 billion now has been returned in the form of repayments, dividends, interest and other income.

When Treasury put money into a bank during the 2007-2009 financial crisis, it received preferred shares and banks repay the funds by buying back the preferred stock. The Treasury still holds warrants to buy common shares in Regions Financial and could earn an additional return on those.

So far, taxpayers have recovered about 81 percent, or $337 billion, out of the total $415 billion that the government disbursed across all TARP programs.

    TARP was set up as a $700-billion program at the height of the 2007-2009 financial crisis and was used as a mechanism for propping up struggling financial institutions that are regaining strength as economic conditions improve.

    About 350 banks, mostly smaller ones, still have not paid back the TARP money that they received.

    Reporting by Glenn Somerville; Editing by Neil Stempleman and James Dalgleish

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