Hundreds of banks have received capital infusions from the Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program, but between restrictions on executive pay and politicians trying to micromanage TARP recipients' every move, some have concluded that participating in the program is more trouble than it is worth.

Several regional banking companies, including Iberiabank Corp. and TCF Financial Corp., say they are returning the funds because the heightened scrutiny has put them at a competitive disadvantage. Northern Trust Bank, under fire for its sponsorship of a professional golf tournament, would rather give back the $1.6 billion it received than be told how it can spend its marketing dollars.

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