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Wed, Dec 31, 2008 - Page 10 News List

US Treasury provides financial support to 43 banks


The US Treasury Department said on Monday it had provided US$1.9 billion to 43 banks as part of the government’s US$700 billion financial rescue program.

Buffalo, New York-based M&T Bank Corp received the most, getting US$600 million from the Treasury in return for preferred stock and warrants. Fulton Financial Corp, based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, received US$376.5 million, the department said.

The department previously announced that it was providing the money but did not reveal the recipients’ names until late on Monday.

Some of the funds were granted to 20 privately held banks. A total of 34 private banks have now received funds from the financial rescue program.

So far, Treasury has invested more than US$162 billion in 207 banks. The department set aside US$250 billion from the bailout fund to be used for direct investments in banks.

The investments are intended to bolster banks’ balance sheets and spur them to step up lending to counter the worst financial crisis to hit America in 70 years. But critics contend that many banks are not using the money for that purpose.

An Associated Press survey earlier this month of 21 banks that received at least US$1 billion each in government support found that none of them would provide specific answers on how the money was used.

Other companies have received preliminary approval to receive funds but haven’t finalized the transactions. Last week, credit card giant American Express Co said it had received preliminary approval for US$3.39 billion in government money. Commercial finance company CIT Group Inc said it had received approval to obtain US$2.33 billion.

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