Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase and other banks have applied to repay billions of dollars they borrowed under the US government's Troubled Asset Relief Program, media reports said on Monday.
The Financial Times reported that Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and American Express Co were expected to be in the first wave of major lenders allowed to return TARP funds.
The banks need regulatory approval to repay the funds, and regulators have said they will consider those that are well-capitalized and can raise debt without government guarantees.
Bloomberg reported that Morgan Stanley has also filed to repay its TARP funds. Morgan Stanley borrowed $10 billion under TARP in October, as did Goldman, while JPMorgan took $25 billion. American Express received $3.4 billion.
Mark Lake, a spokesman for Morgan Stanley, and Joe Evangelisti, a spokesman for JPMorgan, declined to comment.
Lucas van Praag, a spokesman from Goldman Sachs, declined to comment specifically, but said: "We have made it clear for quite a long time that we are ready willing and able to repay."
American Express said last week it had filed a request with the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury to repay its TARP funds.
Wayne Abernathy, an executive at the American Bankers Association and a former Treasury official, told Reuters earlier on Monday that he expected the Treasury would act soon to let large banks repay TARP.
"I would think we're talking a matter of weeks, and probably just a few weeks, because I think Treasury wants the money, or at least some of it," he said.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said that if regulators certify that a bank would be sound without government help, the Treasury would gladly take the money back.
But he also told lawmakers last month that his role was to ensure the soundless of the entire financial sector.
JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and other banks have expressed interest in exiting the TARP program as quickly as possible.
The banks in the program are concerned that the extra regulation that comes with TARP, particularly regarding pay limits, is hindering their ability to conduct business.
American Express, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan received clean bills of health when the U.S. government released its stress test results earlier this month.
Morgan Stanley was required to raise $1.8 billion.
Morgan Stanley also announced on Monday that it was selling its stake in MSCI, an investment analysis and market index company.
The sale of 27.7 million MSCI class A shares is expected to raise $650.6 million in cash that would provide more flexibility to Morgan Stanley as it leaves TARP.