Westamerica Bancorp. bought back the remaining preferred shares sold to the Treasury Department in February, becoming the latest banking company to redeem its funding under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Just more than one-third of the $205 billion injected into banks has been repaid so far, largely by the biggest companies that got aid. Westamerica got $83.7 million and repaid half in September.
Repurchasing the remaining preferred stock will produce a 2-cent fourth-quarter charge, but not having to pay dividends on the shares will save Westamerica 2 cents a share each quarter.
The California-based company has not seen as many loan losses as other lenders, and it used operating earnings to fund the Tarp buyback, not resorting to selling common shares as many peers did.