NEW YORK (
CEO and Chairman James Rohr has sounded steadily more eager to pay back the $7.6 billion the bank received under the U.S. Treasury's bailout of the financial system, known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
PNC is the largest U.S. bank that has yet to pay back any of the TARP funds it received.
Bank of America
have all fully repaid the bailout money they got.
has repaid most of its bailout money, though the government still has a $25 billion stake in Citi.
What follows is a quick rundown of the statements that Rohr has made about when PNC will pay back TARP funds since September. The company reports its fourth-quarter results before Thursday's opening bell, and Wall Street is currently expecting earnings of 77 cents a share in the December period.
"Frequently, you ask about TARP and our position on TARP has not changed. Our plan is to repay TARP as soon as appropriate and in a shareholder friendly manner."
"I would expect we will be beginning conversations with the regulators to pay it back perhaps over the next 15 months".
"I continue to get questions about TARP. There's been a lot in the newspaper. Our plans have not changed. We've said we were going to repay the TARP through 2010."
Asked about this progression, PNC spokesman Fred Solomon wrote in an e-mail to
on Wednesday that "the statements do not reflect a change in PNC's intentions with regard to the repayment of TARP. Our plan is to repay TARP in 2010."
PNC has been
one of the best performing large banks through the financial crisis
, as it benefited from its acquisition of National City at the end of 2008. However, it has been concerned about diluting shareholders.
Some believe the government has started pressuring banks to pay back TARP ahead of schedule. In a wide-ranging interview Wednesday,
Chairman Warren Buffett lent credence to this theory, telling
the government "forced" Wells Fargo to issue shares to pay back its TARP money. Buffett did not elaborate, but said he "didn't like" the fact that Wells Fargo issued shares to pay back the TARP monies.
That notion, however, has been disputed by Rohr, who
that regulators have not pressured PNC to repay TARP.
Written by Dan Freed in New York