Five banks have repaid millions of dollars they received from the government’s $700 billion financial bailout pot, the Obama administration said Thursday.
The Treasury Department, which oversees the bailout program, said the banks returned a total of $353 million.
The banks are: Iberiabank Corp. of Lafayette, La.; Bank of Marin Bancorp of Novato, Calif.; Old National Bancorp. of Evansville, Ind.; Signature Bank of New York; and Centra Financial Holdings Inc. of Morgantown, W.Va.
They were the first banks to repay the government, wanting to escape the increasingly tough restrictions placed on participants in the rescue program.
In addition to the $353 million, the banks paid the government a total of $5.4 million in dividends, Treasury Department spokesman Andrew Williams said.
The program was enacted in early October after the financial crisis — the worst since the 1930s — intensified. The goal of the program was to inject capital in banks so that they would be in a better position to boost lending, a crucial ingredient to any economic recovery. Nearly $200 billion has been injected into banks thus far.
The five banks have 15 days to buy back warrants from the government. If they don’t, the government will sell them to private investors, Williams said.