Taxpayers' Billions: How Banks Are Using It

GMAC Financial Services received $5 billion through the TARP and said it "immediately increased its automotive lending activity" and that the additional funds have allowed the company to "expand our loan servicing center to meet rising consumer demand for refinances and loan modifications"

Over half of the $3.1 billion received by BB&T has already been used to provide loans to qualified borrowers, the bank said.

To date, the Treasury Department has committed more than $378 billion of the $700 billion TARP fund, which was created to stabilize the nation's financial system. The Bush administration, on behalf of President-elect Barack Obama, informed Congress earlier this week that the new president could use the remaining TARP funds if necessary. "I felt that it would be irresponsible for me with the first $350 billion already spent, to enter into the administration without any potential ammunition should there be some sort of emergency or weakening of the financial system," Obama said on Monday.

More Accountability: Banks Respond

The Senate last night cleared the way for the release of those funds.

His economic team has reassured members of Congress unhappy with how the rescue fund has been used so far that assistance for homeowners facing foreclosure would be the top priority moving forward. In addition, Obama's administration pledged greater accountability as to how banks are using taxpayer dollars. In an ABC News poll conducted in December, 69 percent of respondents said they were not confident adequate controls had been put in place to avoid waste and fraud in the use of the funds.

Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist at Princeton University, told ABC News: "One hopes that with the remainder of the bailout money, that it will be used with strings attached. That there will be demands that the banks have to do more with the money."

To read the responses from the banks, click on each bank name listed below: Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, PNC Financial, US Banc, GMAC, Sun Trust Banks, Capital One, Regions Financial, Fifth Third Banc, BB&T, Bank of New York Mellon, KeyCorp, State Street, Marhsall & Ilsley, Northern Trust, Huntington Bancshares and Synovus Financial.

CIT Group, JP Morgan Chase and Zions Bancorp did not reply. Comerica declined to answer.

With reports by Mary Kate Burke.

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