WASHINGTON — Regions Financial (RF), the largest remaining bank in the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program, repaid its outstanding $3.5 billion investment on Wednesday, the Treasury Department said.

The repayment brings the total profit from Tarp's bank programs to $18 billion.

"This replacement is another milestone in our efforts to wind down Tarp and provides an additional profit for taxpayers on the program's investment in banks," Tim Massad, Treasury's assistant secretary for financial stability, said in the release.

Treasury invested a total of $245 billion in banks through several Tarp programs, including the Capital Purchase Program, Asset Guarantee Program, Targeted Investment Program and Community Development Capital Initiative. The agency has made a profit, recovering $263 billion to date through repayments, dividends, interest and other income, but more than half of the original 707 participants - about 350 banks - have yet to repay the money.

Regions on Wednesday repurchased the outstanding preferred stock it issued in November 2008 under the CPP. In addition to the $3.5 billion repayment, the company has paid $593 million in dividends over the life of the investment. Treasury also continues to hold warrants to purchase common stock in Regions, the sale of which will eventually provide additional returns on the original investment.

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