Premier Financial Corp. in Huntington, W.Va., has received permission from the Federal Reserve Board to once again start paying down its debt to the U.S. Treasury Department.

The $1.1 billion-asset multi-bank holding company received roughly $22.3 million from the Troubled Asset Relief Program in October 2009, and under its agreement, it is scheduled to pay its quarterly dividend of $278,150 on the 15th of February, May, August and November.

But the Fed has prohibited it from paying out any dividends since July 2010, when one of its subsidiary banks, Consolidated Bank & Trust in Richmond, Va., was placed under an enforcement order that required it to improve its credit quality.

In a news release Monday, Premier said that the Fed has approved its request to make the August dividend payment. It said it believes its decision to combine Consolidated with another of its banks into the newly named Premier Bank facilitated the Fed approval. That bank remains under an enforcement order.

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