BB&T Corporation, a bank based in Winston-Salem, NC announced yesterday that it has left the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) by paying $3.1 billion to buy back the preferred stock from the Fed, plus a final dividend payment of approximately $13.9 million. The final amount totaled roughly $92.7 million.

CEO Kelly King was quoted in the press release as saying:

This was, in fact, an excellent investment for the American taxpayer. Our strong capital position allowed us to pay back TARP in a very short amount of time. But what's important today is that we've repaid the government, and now we have a singular focus on the business of serving our clients.

Throughout this period, BB&T has experienced very good loan growth. We will continue to actively pursue and make every good loan we can find.

Former BB&T CEO John Allison however, sang a slightly different tune in his speech last week at the Competitive Enterprise Institute's annual dinner, calling TARP  a "huge rip-off" for the bank because "we didn't want it in the first place."

Nonetheless, BB&T has now begun to rid itself of all vestiges of the TARP program and is returning to its responsible lending habits.  

Other banks that followed in BB&T's footsteps by paying back their TARP funds include U.S. Bancorp, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley.