Updated from 3:12 p.m. EDT
Financial stocks finished lower Friday after several insurers were granted access to funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program and Fitch Ratings warned of downgrades for nine U.S. banks.
have been granted access to $22 billion from the TARP as the government hopes to prevent the industry from stumbling further.
Hartford said late Thursday that it has preliminary approval to receive $3.4 billion, and Lincoln said it has been granted approval for $2.5 billion. Ameriprise said Friday that it will not accept government aid, while Allstate said it would review the government's proposal.
Keefe Bruyette & Woods' analysts argued in a research note Friday that Prudential and Principal were unlikely to take TARP money because of their solid capital position.
After starting the day in positive territory, Hartford finished down 1% and Lincoln was lower by 0.7%. Prudential slipped 4.1%, Allstate shed 3.8% and Principal gave back 1.5%. Not every insurer traded down, though, as Ameriprise tacked on 1.4%.
Among other insurers,
American International Group
was off 4.9%, and
Several bank stocks were lower on comments from Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair, who indicated that management teams at several financial institutions could be replaced in the wake of the government's stress tests.
"Management needs to be evaluated," Bair told
in an interview to be aired this weekend. "Have they been doing a good job? Are there people who can do a better job?"
The FDIC released a statement clarifying Bair's comments in the
interview, saying she did not suggest the federal government will remove bank CEOs.
story referencing Chairman Bair's discussion of management and board changes is misleading and does not provide the proper context of her comments," the FDIC said in a statement. "Chairman Bair said that management changes could happen based on the capital plans that an institution must submit to the government. She did not refer to CEOs specifically and the comment was in the context of capital plans submitted by the institutions."
The government's stress tests, released last week, showed that
Bank of America
GMAC financing arm,
were in need of capital infusions.
Among those names, Fifth Third dropped 5.6%, Wells Fargo slid 3.2%, Regions Financial was lower by 2.6%, KeyCorp gave back 2.2%, Citigroup was down 2%, and Morgan Stanley dipped 1.7%.
In addition to possibly having to replace management, BofA is under pressure from government officials to revamp its board by bringing in directors with more banking experience, according a report in
The Wall Street Journal
. The news comes as
Temasek Holdings said it has sold its 3.8% stake in BofA
at a loss that may total $4.6 billion, according to
. BofA shares lost 5.7% to close at $10.67.
SunTrust had other issues of its own as well. The bank said Friday it will sell $1.25 billion of common stock and slash its dividend by 90% to a penny in order to meet the government's increased capital requirements. Still, shares tacked on 0.1% to $15.05.
Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings said it has placed nine U.S. banks on rating watch negative, indicating that downgrades could come if conditions worsen. The nine banks included were
, Regions, Fifth Third, KeyCorp, SunTrust, Wells Fargo,
One of few winners Friday was
. The bank is in talks about selling its asset management arm Barclays Global Investors, with potential bidders being private-equity group
Bank of New York Mellon
, according to a report in
The Financial Times
, the report said. Shares of Barclays relinquished early gains and closed down 0.3% to $15.86.