BB&T and US Bancorp join the TARP pay back bandwagon

A few more big banks announced they have bought back preferred shares they sold to the government as part of its financial rescue program. U.S. Bancorp (USB) and BB&T (BBT) joined Morgan Stanley (MS), Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) in repaying bailout funds today.

U.S. Bancorp, which received $6.6 billion, and BB&T, which got $3.1 billion, were both found not to need additional capital after regulators' stress tests last month.

Executives at both companies said paying back the government will make it easier to run their businesses as they see fit. Frustration with the additional regulatory scrutiny that came along with the government's investment was evident but unspoken in their statements.

"Our strong capital position allowed us to pay back TARP in a very short amount of time," BB&T CEO Kelly King said in an emailed statement. "But what's important today is that we've repaid the government, and now we have a singular focus on the business of serving our clients."

U.S. Bancorp CEO Richard K. Davis expressed a similar sentiment. He called his company's repayment "a significant step forward."

"The redemption allows our company to return to operating from a position of both independent strength and strategic flexibility," Davis said.
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