TARP deadbeat list hits new high

December 15, 2010, 11:00 PM UTC

The stock market isn’t alone in hitting new highs this week. So is the list of TARP deadbeats.

A grand total of 123 banks failed to make their Nov. 15 dividend payments on Troubled Asset Relief Program loans, SNL Financial reports. That’s up from 115 institutions that deferred their August payments.

Is time on their side?

The report comes as the estimated cost of the bailout program continues to fall, and as Treasury is raking in billions in cutting ties to some of the biggest bailout recipients, notably Citigroup (C).

The government also has set a restructuring of its ownership in AIG (AIG) that has fed talk that the insurer could be back in private hands within a year or two. Two big regional banks this week set plans to repay their TARP loans.

Update: Here is what Treasury says:

In total, taxpayers have received more than $10.2 billion in dividends and interest payments through the Capital Purchase Program.  In addition, we remain confident that the program overall will ultimately provide a substantial profit for taxpayers. 

But enough good news. SNL says that while 18 of the TARP deadbeats were first-timers, the list mostly comprises repeat offenders, including 20 that have missed six or more payments. One bank, Saigon National of Westminster, Calif., has run up an unparalleled record of delinquency, missing on all eight of its expected dividend payments.

It could be worse, though. Three banks that had previously missed dividend payments failed during the latest period. Saigon may be in denial when it comes to its financial health, but hey, unlike 151 others this year, at least it’s still around.