FirstBank exits TARP

Bank pays back remainder of $50M from earnings

FirstBank says it has repaid the U.S. Department of the Treasury the $37 million it still owed the agency, which invested $50 million in the holding company three years ago under the umbrella of the Troubled Assets Relief Program.

FirstBank executives had repaid about a quarter of the government’s Capital Purchase Program investment in the fall of last year. President Chris Holmes last month told he planned to complete FirstBank’s TARP exit before year’s end.

“This is a great day,” Holmes said in a statement Wednesday. “I am especially proud that FirstBank was able to repay our CPP obligation without issuing stock, taking on debt or accepting any assistance from other government programs.”

Holmes added that FirstBank is on track to post its best-ever numbers in 2012. Through the first half of the year, it earned $13 million — about double its profits for the same period in 2011. The bank has been on a growth push: It has recruited a number of senior executives, has begun work on a new branch in Green Hills and wants to set up an office in the historic post office at Franklin’s Five Points.

FirstBank’s exit from TARP leaves two Middle Tennessee bank companies still in the program. They are the parents of CedarStone Bank in Lebanon as well as Community First Bank & Trust in Columbia.