Treasury Starts Public Offerings of Stock in Seven TARP Banks

The U.S. Treasury Department said it is starting secondary public offerings of preferred stock it holds in seven banks as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

The Treasury said in a statement today that it was conducting offerings of its stock positions in Fidelity Southern Corp. of Atlanta; Firstbank Corp. of Alma, Michigan; First Citizens Banc Corp. of Sandusky, Ohio; MetroCorp Bancshares Inc. of Houston; Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina Inc. of Newton, North Carolina; Pulaski Financial Corp. of St. Louis; and Southern First Bancshares Inc. of Greenville, South Carolina.

Under TARP, originally approved by Congress in 2008 as a $700 billion dollar program to rescue financial institutions, the Treasury put cash into banks in exchange for equity stakes.