Thursday, October 8, 2009

34 banks don't pay their quarterly TARP dividends

What happened to the great returns the taxpayers were promised? This doesn't bode well, despite the Treasury's reassurance to the contrary. - tb

34 banks don't pay their quarterly TARP dividends

By Pallavi Gogoi and Paul Wiseman, USA TODAY

The U.S. taxpayers' investments in smaller banks are increasingly at risk.

In a sign that more banks are under great pressure from the recession, 34 financial institutions did not pay their quarterly dividends in August to the Treasury on funds obtained under the Troubled Asset Relief Fund (TARP). The number almost doubled from 19 in May when payments were last made, and also raised questions about Treasury's judgment in approving these banks as "healthy," a necessary step for them to get TARP funding.

"The banks are not paying their dividends because they are worried about preserving capital," says Eric Fitzwater, associate director of research at SNL Financial.

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