With the U.S. economy improved since the darker days of the financial crisis, the Treasury Department will start winding down its $700 billion financial-rescue program and ramping up the focus on small businesses and homeowners, a department official said Thursday.

"The work we have done under our Financial Stability Plan helped avert a collapse of our financial system," Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Herb Allison told the Congressional Oversight Panel in his prepared testimony. "As such, the Treasury is now in a position to begin winding down" Troubled Asset Relief Program activities "that helped put large banks and the auto companies on a sounder footing."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.