By Rick Rothacker
Dec 19 Ally Financial Inc, the U.S. auto lender
74-percent owned by the U.S. government, on Wednesday said it
repaid its remaining debt issued under a financial-crisis-era
program, the latest step in its effort to reimburse taxpayers.
The former auto lending arm of General Motors Co said
it paid back $4.5 billion in debt guaranteed by the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corp's Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program
(TLGP). It repaid another $2.9 billion in debt issued under the
program in October.
Other financial institutions such as Bank of America Corp
have also been repaying debt issued under the program,
which aimed to bolster confidence in the banking system.
Ally Chief Executive Michael Carpenter is working to repay a
series of bailouts spurred by losses in the lender's Residential
Capital mortgage unit during the financial crisis that erupted
more than four years ago.
This year, ResCap filed for bankruptcy, and Ally reached
agreements to sell international operations in a bid to speed up
repayment to taxpayers. The company is turning its focus to U.S.
auto lending and Internet banking.
Of the $17 billion Ally received under the U.S. government's
Troubled Asset Relief Program, it has paid back $5.8 billion,
including dividends. On Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury announced
plans to sell its remaining shares in automaker GM, leaving Ally
as the last major company that still owes the government under
"Repayment of the remaining debt issued under the TLGP marks
an important milestone for Ally as we continue our plans to exit
the government support programs utilized during the financial
crisis," Jeffrey Brown, Ally's senior executive vice president
of finance and corporate planning, said in a statement.
Last week, the Treasury completed its final sale of common
stock in insurer American International Group, ending
another major bailout.