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Fed's Powell says will return Treasury funds as programs set to lapse

FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a Senate's Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing examining the quarterly CARES Act report to Congress, in Washington, DC, U.S., September 24, 2020. Drew Angerer/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fed chair Jerome Powell said Friday he would return unused emergency funds to the U.S. Treasury, as requested by Secretary Steven Mnuchin, as part a decision to let a series of credit programs expire at the end of the year.

The programs include loan programs for small businesses and cities set up under the CARES Act coronavirus response legislation.

Their withdrawal has been criticized by the Fed as premature.

Still, Powell acknowledged in a letter to Mnuchin that Treasury had “sole authority” over whether to let the programs continue, and that the Fed “will work out arrangements with you for returning the unused portions of the funds allocated to the CARES Act facilities in connection with their termination.”

Reporting by Howard Schneider, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien