More than 99 percent of the federal funds given to help keep banks in operation during the recent financial crisis through the Troubled Asset Relief Program’s Capital Purchase Program have now been repaid, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced. Through repayments, interest and other income, the federal government has recouped more than $244 billion of the $245 billion it invested in these banks. Further, as financial institutions continue to pay back the money they borrowed, the government is expected to see about $20 billion in profits.
The institution that paid back the most money recently was the Fifth Third Bancorp in Cincinnati, Ohio, the report said. Its latest transaction totaled $280 million, and it has now paid back all of the $3.4 billion in federal funds it owed.
Currently, the Treasury Department thinks that overall, TARP will come with little or even no cost to U.S. taxpayers, the report said. Apart from banks, other areas of the economy that received federal funds include the auto industry and credit markets.
Many have criticized a number of government programs designed to help both major industries and consumers, such as the bank bailouts or foreclosure assistance initiatives, as being too costly.