Washington Trust Bank uses federal money to pay federal debt

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The parent company of Spokane's Washington Trust Bank has used money from the Treasury Department to pay back the money it owed to the Treasury Department, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

About $115 million that WTB Financial got through the Small Business Lending Fund went straight back to the Treasury to pay for money it had received during the bank bailout, officially known as TARP. 

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, about $2.2 billion of the $4 billion handed out to banks through the SBLF has gone to paying the government back for TARP loans.

“The SBLF has a specific and targeted purpose — increasing lending to small businesses so they can invest and hire in their local communities,” the article quotes the Treasury saying in a statement Thursday. “Allowing community banks that received TARP investments to participate in the program will help propel that mission forward by helping ensure that more Main Street entrepreneurs can access the loans they need to create new jobs.”

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