As big banks repay bailout funds, small banks can ask for more


Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner already has plans for the tens of billions of dollars from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) that big financial companies like JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) are scrambling to repay.

Geithner told a community bankers' forum in Washington today that Treasury will use the money to shore up the balance sheets of struggling smaller banks. Though they say their problems aren't nearly as big as those of their larger brethren, small banks account for more than half of financial institutions seized by regulators since the beginning of 2007. Geithner's plan may help buoy those in danger of joining them.