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Synovus Financial Corp.

Banking Crisis is Over, But TARP Bailout is Still Kicking

While big banks like J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) couldn't return their TARP funds fast enough, dozens of publicly-traded lenders and thrifts are still sitting on nearly $5 billion in bailout cash some four years after the Great Recession ended.These TARP holdouts include medium-sized institutions like $2.3 billion Synovus Financial (NYSE:SNV) and Puerto Rican lender Popular (NASDAQ:BPOP), as well as much smaller lenders such as Atlantic Bancshares, which is on the hook for just $2 million.Banks that have been unable or unwilling to escape TARP now run the risk of being hit by a looming spike in dividend rates at the five-year anniversary of entering the government program as well as being stigmatized by customers and counterparties alike."If after four years they still haven't repaid their money, that is a sign of an inherent weakness," said Anthony Michael Sabino, a professor at St. John's University. "Maybe it's time to urge those banks to seek out a merger pa...

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