Where is the pride among the community bankers who had avoided the sub prime gold rush and have treated their balance sheets like they gave a damn?
Apparently, the pride is in Lafayette, Louisiana, the home of Iberiabank Corporation. Iberiabank (IBKC) has become the first financial institution out of over 440 to returnTARP funds back to the federal government. Iberiabank basically said, “Look, you told us all to participate and take the money, and now we are looked at and treated like common criminals because we did so.”
IBKC has filed to return the original $90 million plus accrued interest back to the TARP and could be the leader of a bank backlash.
“We believe recent actions, interpretations, and commentary regarding various aspects of the program places our company at an unacceptable competitive disadvantage,”
– Daryl Byrd, CEO Iberiabank
Atta boy, Byrd. You’re a hero amongst 21st century bankers, both for staying out of the leverage orgy and for giving back the money first. So out of the $200 billion that’s been given out since last October, let’s hope we see a little more pride and friskiness out of some of the recipients.
This is the kind of gift that US taxpayers would love to see thrown back in their faces.
“A lot of these small-cap banks remain profitable, and it just doesn’t make much sense for the government to try to dictate the way they should operate their business,” said Stapp, adding “I think you’ll see more banks returning TARP money.”
– Andy Stapp, Analyst at B. Riley & Co.