Metro Atlanta's sixth-largest bank -- and the largest that had yet to pay back a government loan -- has repaid the $3.5 billion it owed as part of a federal bailout program.
Regions Financial Corp. announced Wednesday it had repurchased the shares of preferred stock it sold to the U.S. government at the height of the financial crisis. At the time, banks nationwide participated in the Troubled Asset Relief Program's capital purchase program to shore up their balance sheets.
In a statement, Regions said it paid $593 million in dividends on the shares, and that repurchasing them eliminates the need to pay $175 million in dividends annually.
The repurchase comes after a $900 million stock offering and the $1.2 billion sale of Morgan Keegan & Co. and related affiliates.
Regions Bank has 3 percent of the deposits in metro Atlanta, according to 2011 deposit data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
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