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Bank Of America Pays Back TARP Funds 2+ Years Ahead Of Schedule

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In Feb 2009, the company reported this…

Bank of America Corp. expects to pay back U.S. Treasury relief funds within the next three years, and “categorically” does not need further government funding, Chief Executive Ken Lewis told CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo in a televised interview Friday. Bank of America has received up to $45 billion in funds from the Trouble Asset Relief Program.

10 months later…from their press release…

PRNewswire/ — Bank of America today announced that it will repay U.S. taxpayers their entire $45 billion investment provided under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The repayment will be made after the completion of a securities offering.

To date, Bank of America has paid $2.54 billion in dividends to the U.S. Treasury on the TARP investment. Repaying TARP will save the company approximately $3.6 billion in annual dividend costs from the TARP investment.

Some of this money is coming from their existing assets, and some of it is coming from an equity sale. But they’re paying it back.

Now, there are those who are questioning if they should be doing that or not. After all, do they have enough capital?

Yes, they do…

After the stock offering and some other capital moves, Bank of America’s Tier 1 capital ratio will stand at 11%, and Tier 1 common ratio will stand at 8.5% — stronger metrics than Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase or U.S. Bancorp.

Only Citigroup has higher capital ratios, due to a huge preferred-to-common conversion, but given the government’s large ownership stake and Citi’s long path to reorganization, few expect it to repay TARP in the same manner.

Long story short, we’ve made money on every single TARP repayment so far AND averted a financial meltdown AND unfroze the credit market. Yes, the big banks aren’t completely out of the woods yet, but the brush is getting a lot thinner.

So, to those who claimed that we’d never see this money again…how long before we hear some mea culpas? Especially for those who called for Geithner’s ouster?

Tick tock…