WASHINGTON — Banks that want to return Troubled Asset Relief Program funds will have to demonstrate their ability to wean themselves off another major federal program, according to senior government officials, a move that could make it less attractive for banks to return the money. The program, a guarantee of debt issuance offered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., allows firms to borrow money relatively inexpensively. Banks have issued more than $332.5 billion under the program since it began last fall.
Firms will have to show they don't need the FDIC guarantee to issue debt, such as by raising it without the guarantee. The move signals a potential turning point in the financial crisis, with some banks beginning to unwind their dependence on the federal government.