Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

on Tuesday said it would pay a $371.5 million dividend to the government in connection with the federal bailout of the banking sector.

Wells on Oct. 29 issued 25,000 shares of preferred stock to the Treasury Department in exchange for $25 billion in funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). This quarter's dividend is payable on Feb. 15 and is Wells' first payout on TARP funds.

Wells said in a press release that in the fourth quarter it has made $22 billion in loan commitments and $50 billion in loan originations. Banks' use of


funds, which were intended to help facilitate lending and ease strains on the credit markets, has been a point of contention, as the net result of the cash infusions has been hard to quantify.

Wells is not the only recipient of government bailout funds to have recently announced a dividend payout.

US Bancorp

(USB) - Get Report

last week announced it would pay $83.3 million in dividends on TARP money.


JPMorgan Chase

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(C) - Get Report

and the combined

Merrill Lynch


Bank of America

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all received $25 billion in the first round of TARP investments, the top amount initially awarded. Citi and BofA have since received second, $20 billion investments and backstops on more than $100 billion in shaky assets.

Wells Fargo shares were lately rising 1.3% to $19.14 in midday trading.