Free Markets, Free People
TARP News: Wells Fargo to Pay Back U.S.
According to this report, Wells Fargo is prepared to put some money back into the federal coffers:
Good news out of the failing financial sector, finally. Wells Fargo Bank reports it will pay back the federal government $371.5 million in its first quarterly bailout installment.
Wells Fargo is believed to be the first major bank receiving TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) to do so.
In an internal memo obtained by The Remmers Report, Wells Fargo said the quarterly dividend of $14,861.11 per share is payable Feb. 15. The feds purchased 25,000 shares of Fixed Rate Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock last September and is the only holder of record of the Series D preferred stock.
“Since credit began contracting 18 months ago, Wells Fargo has made almost half a trillion dollars in new loan commitments and mortgage originations,” said Chief Financial Officer Howard Atkins. “Last quarter alone, we made $22 billion in loan commitments and $50 billion in mortgage originations. That’s more than $70 billion or almost three times the amount of the U.S. Treasury’s investment in Wells Fargo. We believe we’re leading our industry in lending to creditworthy customers during this difficult economy.”
It is ironic that initially Wells Fargo signalled (sic) Treasury it did not want TARP funds and when it did, negotiated the takeover of financial giant competitor Wachovia.
The payment would represent only about 1.5% of the TARP funds given to Wells Fargo, but it’s a start I guess.