U.S. lenders bailed out by the government are returning the favor by stepping up purchases of Treasuries, helping to temper a rise in borrowing costs.

Bank holdings of U.S. government securities are up 15.6% from a year earlier, almost double the average annual growth rate of about 8% since the Federal Reserve began tracking the data in 1973, according to Greenwich, Conn., trading and research firm MKM Partners LP.

Purchases may rise as lenders look for places to park rising deposits.

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