United Community Banks (UCBI) in Blairsville, Ga., plans to redeem $180 million of stock issued under the Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program along with $16.8 million of other outstanding preferred stock.

United will use cash on hand, $119 million of bank dividends and $40 million of short-term debt to redeem the shares, according to the company's Monday press release.

The $7.2 billion-asset company bought back $75 million of TARP preferred stock last week and plans to complete the redemption by mid-January. The Treasury auctioned its stake in United earlier this year.

United also announced that it has been released from an informal memorandum of understanding jointly issued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. It expects to be freed from a separate memorandum of understanding with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Georgia regulator soon.

"Five years after the beginning of the economic crisis, these positive developments speak to the restoration of solid credit metrics, strong capital levels and core profitability at United," President and Chief Executive Officer Jimmy Tallent said in the release. "The redemption of our outstanding preferred stock, without issuing additional common equity, is important to that end as are the terminations of the MOUs."

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