Tuesday, October 25, 2011

U.S. owns 5 percent of merged FNB United

With the merger between FNB United and Bank of Granite closed, the American people now own about 5 percent of the bank.

And though a significant part of the bailout money the U.S. Treasury originally invested in FNB United won't be recovered, the new bank executives hope for the government to get the rest of the money back soon.

FNB United sold the Treasury $51.5 million in preferred stock as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2009. That was converted to common stock at a 75 percent discount as part of the merger.

"At some point in time, I would expect the Treasury would sell that back into the marketplace. We will be working with them to help facilitate that," CEO Brian Simpson told the Observer. "Our goal is to operate without government assistance and to do that as soon as we possibly can."

The taxpayers will take a loss. But had FNB United failed, the cost to the government was estimated at $500 million, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.