The Treasury Department announced Wendesday it received a combined $45 billion in bailout repayments from two of the program's largest beneficiaries, Citigroup and Wells Fargo.  

Wells Fargo returned $25 billion to the federal government and Citigroup gave back $20 billion, bringing the total amount of repaid Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds to $164 billion. 

The announcement concludes a long negotations process between the government and several large, bailed-out financial institutions. The Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) was once worried that paying back the bailout funds may destabilized the weakened financial giants. But Treasury supported the reimbursements partly so it could use the cash for other priorities.

The move also demonstrates the willingness of banks to emerge from under the yoke of the federal government, particularly on mandates regulating executive pay at the firms.

Both firms raised capital to make the repayments through stock offerings. The Wells Fargo and Citi, along with several other large firms received federal assistance under TARP in fall 2008 in the wake of the financial collapse.

Dow Jones reported that PNC and SunTrust banks are now the largest firms who have not yet repaid their bailout funds. Citi received the most money out of any other firm last fall.

With the repayments, Treasury now estimates that total bank reimbursements will exceed $175 billion by the end of 2010, reducing federal investments in banks to the banks by three-quarters.