Fulton Bank repays TARP, M&T triples its profits

Two large out of state banks with a presence in the Richmond market made big announcements this week.

Fulton Financial Corporation, the Pennsylvania-based parent of Fulton Bank announced that it repaid the U.S. Treasury Department $379.5 million to buy its way out of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Fulton Bank has three offices in the Richmond market including a branch and loan production office on Stony Point Parkway and a branch on Dominion Boulevard in Glen Allen. Fulton controls approximately $55 million in local deposits, according to the most recent FDIC figures.

Fulton like many other local banks and hundreds nationwide participated in the TARP Capital Purchase Program over the last couple of years that was designed to infuse banks with capital. In exchange for that capital, banks gave the Treasury shares of preferred stock and warrants for common stock. The banks also pay a 5 percent quarterly dividend.

Fulton CEO R. Scott Smith Jr. said in the company’s release:

The TARP funds served as a form of insurance against the risk of a very severe and prolonged recession, and we appreciate how this investment bolstered our company’s historically strong capital position.

Fulton was able to repay the TARP money in part because of a recent $230 million stock offering.

M&T Bank, the Buffalo, N.Y. institution that acquired Provident Bank and its Richmond branches nearly a year ago, reported second quarter profits that were more than triple that of second quarter 2009.

The company brought in $188.7 million in profit, compared to $51.1 a year ago.

Hugh Newtwon, president of M&T’s Central Virginia operations said it’s a rare bit of good news in the banking world these days.

“Everything is so negative in the banking,” said Newton. “We have a story that continues to be consistently good.”

Locally, M&T has been adding employees in the last few months, Newton said. It now has 73 employees in its Central Virginia operations consisting of nine branches, seven in and around Richmond and two in Fredericksburg. Its local operations have a $300 million loan portfolio and between $90 and $100 million in deposits.

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