* Repayment "most likely" in second half of 2010
* Will discuss need for capital raise with regulators
NEW YORK Feb 10 Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB.O)
will likely return funds it received as part of the bank
bailout package this year, the company's chief financial
officer said on Wednesday.
The Cincinnati-based bank, which received $3.4 billion from
the U.S. government's Troubled Asset Relief Program, will "most
likely" repay that money in the second half of the year, Chief
Financial Officer Daniel Poston said at a Credit Suisse
financial services conference.
Fifth Third, which had $113 billion in assets at the end of
2009, would follow larger rivals such as PNC Financial Services
Group (PNC.N) in returning the funds. PNC earlier this month
raised $3 billion in stock and sold an investment servicing
unit to help pay back its $7.6 billion in TARP funds.
Fifth Third expects to discuss any capital raises with
regulators before it gets the green light to repay TARP, Poston
said in response to analysts' questions about whether the bank
will need to raise money.
The bank reported a smaller fourth-quarter loss last month
as loan losses eased but it remains exposed to some of the
areas that have been hardest hit by the financial crisis.
Losses on loans in Florida and Michigan accounted for 53
percent of Fifth Third's total charge-offs in the fourth
quarter, according to its earnings statement.
(Reporting by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Bernard Orr)