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The Treasury Department on Wednesday said Zions Bancorp has repaid the $700 million it owed as part of the federal bailout banks received in the financial crisis more than three years ago.

Salt Lake City-based Zions was among hundreds of banks that were issued funds in late 2008 under Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. In the first quarter, the regional bank holding company repaid the first $700 million of the $1.4 billion it received.

The government transferred the money to Zions by purchasing shares of the bank's preferred stock. Zions paid $253 million in dividends on the shares during the time the Treasury Department owned the shares. The bank transferred the money back to the government by redeeming the shares at full value.

"We are pleased that we have completed the steps that we had proposed to the Federal Reserve in January," Zions CEO Harris Simmons said in a statement.

"As we turn the page on this chapter, we expect to be able to sharpen our focus on expanding our business, while continuing to reduce higher-cost sources of capital and funding that stem from the financial crisis," Simmons said.

The government still holds warrants to buy Zions common stock, which it expects to sell for an additional return.

About $245 billion went to 707 banks under TARP after their bad loans mounted. Treasury says it has recovered around $266 billion from banks' repaid loans, dividends and interest.