For more on the financial crisis, check out’s Webinar, “Wall Street In a Freefall—The Winners and Losers.”

WASHINGTON, DC-The Treasury Department continues to aggressively use its new powers and $700 billion war chest to hack away at the credit crisis. The latest development, according to a TV interview this morning of Assistant Treasury Secretary David Nason, are agreements inked Sunday evening with nine new banks to receive capital in the next $125 billion tranche that will be used to bolster the banking system.

Treasury, which did not respond to a request for comment from in time for deadline, has not made a formal announcement about these banks–nor about reports that began circulating late on Friday that the program to buy troubled assets–the Troubled Asset Relief Program–will be expanded to include insurance companies. According to a news report that cited two unnamed sources in the Treasury Department, the agency has assigned a team to examine how it might buy assets from insurance companies even though they are not federally regulated. The auto industry and foreign-owned banks are other entities that may eventually make their way to the program, according to Nason’s interview.

Indeed, the ways in which Treasury has been using the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which passed earlier this month, are almost unrecognizable from the painfully-crafted final version of the bill–as is the way some of the participating banks are using the funds.

On Friday, PNC Financial Services Group, revealed it was acquiring National City Corp., for $2.23 per share, or $5.2 billion in PNC stock and $384 million in cash. PNC is using capital it has been promised by the government to buy the bank–specifically, PNC has reported that it will receive $7.7 billion in cash by selling stock and warrants to the government. Treasury apparently gave PNC the green light to use the capital in this manner–even though such a consolidation does not necessarily translate into stepped-up lending on the part of the bank.

“The acquisition of National City will increase our core deposit base to $180 billion, making PNC the fifth largest US bank by deposits,” James Rohr, chairman and CEO of PNC, says in a prepared statement. “Upon closing the transaction, we will implement our successful business model and execute our strategies for managing risk, achieving cost efficiencies and growing high-quality revenue streams.”

Most of the other banks participating in the program, though, are using it for the intended purpose of financial support in the face of this credit crisis. Banks known to be participating or considering participating in the program–either through news reports or through press releases or Q3 earnings reports issued over the past two weeks–include: KeyCorp, which this morning said it has received preliminary approval to receive $2.5 billion; SunTrust Banks Inc. and Capital One Financial Corp., which have reportedly accepted at least $28 billion; Capital One, which will receive $3.6 billion; City National Corp., in Beverly Hills, which has said it is receiving $395 million; First Niagara Financial Group Inc., in upstate New York; State Street Corp., which is receiving a $2 billion stake, Northern Trust Corp., which is selling $1.5 billion of stocks and warrants to the federal government; Regions Financial, $3.5 billion; Huntington Bancshares, which has applied for $1.4 billion; First Horizon National Corp., which is receiving $866 million; Washington Federal Inc., which is receiving $230 million; Valley National Bancorp in Wayne, NJ, is participating in the program for $330 million; City National, at $395 million; Dallas-based Comerica, which said it will receive $2.25 billion.

Baltimore-based Provident Bankshares Corp. said it has been informed by Treasury it has been granted preliminary approval to participate in TARP; Superior Bancorp has filed an application for approximately $70 million; PrivateBancorp has said it is reviewing the program and expect to make a decision on whether to participate prior to the Nov. 14 deadline.

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