As part of the second pre-defined written trading plan for sales of First BanCorp's common stock, Treasury sold approximately five million shares, recovering about $30 million for American taxpayers. Treasury currently holds about 10.3 million shares (about 4.8 percent) of First BanCorp common stock, according to Treasury.
Treasury is selling its common stock in First BanCorp as part of an ongoing effort to wind down the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to bail out banks devastated by the financial crisis of 2008. First BanCorp received about $400 million from Treasury in 2009 as part of the TARP bailout. In December, Treasury recovered about $22 million for taxpayers through the sales of nearly 4.4 million shares of First BanCorp common stock as part of the first pre-defined written trading plan for the bank.
Signed into law by the Bush administration, TARP was created in 2008 at the height of the nation's financial crisis in order to implement programs to stabilize the financial system during the financial crisis of 2008. Treasury originally outlined a strategy for winding down its remaining TARP bank investments in May 2012 "in a way that protects taxpayer interests and preserves the strength of our nation's community banks," according to Treasury. The strategy to recover Treasury's investments includes using a combination of repayments, restructurings, and sales.
To date, sales of Treasury's efforts have resulted in taxpayers recovering $441.7 billion in TARP investments, which includes sales of Treasury's AIG shares. The amount recovered for taxpayers is more than $14 billion above the $427.1 billion disbursed. Only 32 out of 707 banks that received TARP investments through Treasury's Capital Purchase Program (CPP) remain in the program.