NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Many of the largest banks receiving government bailout funds have yet to see their stock prices recover, but there are many smaller holding companies whose shareholders have seen very nice returns since the Troubled Assets Relief Program was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 2, 2008.

Using data provided for publicly traded bank and thrift holding companies as defined by SNL Financial - which excludes investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley from the group - TheStreet has identified the 10 banks and thrifts with largest stock price appreciation from October 2, 2008 through Tuesday's market close.

Out of the 10 bank holding companies receiving the most TARP assistance, Citigroup's ( C) investors have suffered the most, with shares declining 79% from the day TARP came into existence, to close at $4.69 Tuesday. Over the same period, shares of Bank of America ( BAC) declined 66% to close at $12.40 Tuesday.

Only three of 10 bank holding companies receiving the largest amount of bailout funds are still participating in TARP. One of these is Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB), which still owes the government $3.4 billion and is the only one of the group of 10 companies to see its shares rise since TARP began. The Cincinnati, Ohio lender's shares closed at $14.27 Tuesday, up 7% since October 2, 2008.

The other two holding companies among the largest 10 TARP recipients that still owe the government money are Regions Financial ( RF), which owes $3.5 billion in bailout funds and has seen its shares drop 48% since TARP began (closing at $6.21 Tuesday), and SunTrust ( STI), which owes $4.85 billion, and has seen its shares fall 47% since the beginning of TARP, closing at $26.99 Tuesday.

The following 10 banks have seen the greatest increase in their stock prices since TARP began. Half of these names have fully repaid the government.

Terms

For each of the 10 banks discussed on the following pages, we'll be looking at capital strength, earnings quality and asset quality. For an explanation of those terms you can click on the box below.

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