NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The list of TARP deadbeats continued to climb over the past few months, with 115 banks skipping dividend payments on $3.6 billion worth of borrowings from the U.S. Treasury Department.
The number has climbed from 91 payment deferrals in the previous Treasury report on the Troubled Asset Relief Program, in May, and 74 deferrals in the report in February. According to an analysis by SNL Financial, 15 companies have skipped payments five times while seven have deferred on six occasions. After half a dozen delinquencies, the Treasury holds the right to elect two directors to a bank's board, as it did with American International Group (AIG) last spring.
The amount of money owed by the delinquent TARP borrowers is relatively small - it constitutes just 1.8% of the $205 billion in bailout funds disbursed to over 700 banks. First BanCorp. (FBP), a small lender based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is the largest institution to not pay the August dividend on its $400 million in TARP funds.
In its report to Congress on Sept. 10, the Treasury said it will "prioritize" action on TARP delinquencies based on the size of the investment. For instance, it will only elect directors to boards of banks that have borrowed more than $25 million.Excluding Pacific Capital Bancorp (PCBC) - which exchanged its Treasury preferred stock and is no longer required to pay dividends - Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin (ABCW) is the bank with the most outstanding debt to the Treasury, at $110 million, that has not paid dividends six times. So far, the Treasury has lost money on $2.3 billion worth of TARP investments, mainly due to CIT Group's (CIT) earlier bankruptcy, but has earned much more on profitable investments in big banks like Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS). As of the most recent government tabulation, the Office of Management and Budget estimates that taxpayers will lose $105 billion on all of its TARP investments, down from an initial estimate of $341 billion. Those losses will mostly be concentrated in AIG, automotive investments and a bailout program for troubled homeowners. --Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York.
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