Today is the last day that public banks can apply for an infusion of the Treasury Departmentâs bailout dollars. According to our running tally, 60 banks have so far announced preliminary approval, a commitment of about $173.4 billion by Treasury.
Of course, that total is bound to rise. Although today is the deadline for banks to apply, itâs not the deadline for Treasury to approve those applications. Judging from regulatory filings and news stories, more than 20 banks have announced an intention to apply for the program. Thatâs not quite the "thousands" of banks that Treasury officials anticipated applying. But perhaps thatâs picking up. Execs with the countryâs biggest banking association say that there has been significant interest in the program; about 40% of the industry wants in, they say.
And of course, itâs not just banks. Itâs nonbank financial companies morphing into banks. Some of those are among the nationâs largest financial institutions, like American Express, which converted to a bank holding company earlier this week, and Hartford Financial, an insurer that bought a small savings and loan, making it eligible for the program. Hartford could qualify for $3.4 billion.
Banks that arenât public companies also have a later deadline, meaning that we could see a number of private banks sign up in the future.