Morning Brief: Treasury Invests In Four Local Banks

With the Treasury Department's rescue plan in full swing, more financial institutions with a Washington area presence are tapping the government funds. The Treasury said on Monday that it has made investments in four banks that operate in the Washington area.

The Treasury has agreed to invest $175.3 billion in 69 financial institutions nationally, according to a report released on Monday by the New York investment bank Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. The Treasury said on Monday that 29 of those companies have already received the money.

Among firms with a local presence that received Treasury money were Capital One Financial of McLean, Provident Bankshares of Baltimore, SunTrust Banks of Atlanta and Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T.

"There are some banks that have said flat out, 'We are not interested,' but there are other banks where the approval of participating in the program is seen as a sign that they are not on the verge of failure," Bert Ely, a local banking analyst said.

In the District, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said on Monday he is closing 23 used-car dealerships and plans to terminate the licenses of 303 salespeople. The dealerships were nothing more than glorified storage facilities that had nothing to do with selling cars, Fenty said.

Many of the vehicles appeared to have been purchased outside the District and were being stored in the city before being shipped to other locations for sale, possibly even internationally, city officials said.

And in other local business news, Fairchild of McLean said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday morning that it did not make a payment of slightly less than $1 million into its pension fund for the third quarter.

"At this time, we do not have sufficient liquidity to fund our pension plan obligations, and satisfy ongoing operational costs," the company said. "We are exploring avenues to raise additional funds, and we are in ongoing discussions with potential lenders."

By Alejandro Lazo  |  November 18, 2008; 8:12 AM ET  | Category:  Capital One , Economy Watch , Morning Brief
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