As it had previously indicated, on March 26, 2012, the Treasury Department announced the commencement of a modified dutch auction for the sale of the preferred stock it holds in six institutions:

The link to each institution takes you to the preliminary prospectus on file with the SEC.

MainSource and Wilshire have both indicated that they have received regulatory approvals to submit one or more bids in the auction, while Banner, First Financial, Seacost and WSFS have each indicated that they do not intend to bid in their respective auctions.

With Merrill Lynch and Sandler O’Neill acting as auction agents, the auction commenced at 8:30 a.m., New York City time, on Wednesday, March 26, 2012, and will close at 6:30 p.m., New York City time, on Wednesday, March 28, 2012. During the auction period, potential bidders for the preferred stock will be able to place bids on the offered preferred stock (in increments of whole shares) at any price per share (in increments of $0.01).  At settlement, winning bidders will be required to pay the clearing price for the preferred stock plus accrued and unpaid dividends on the preferred stock from and including February 15, 2012.  Investors may bid on individual or multiple preferred stock positions. Depending on the bids received, the Treasury has reserved the right to sell only a portion of the shares it holds, or not to sell any shares.

In addition to Merrill Lynch and Sandler O’Neill, the following brokers have agreed to be network brokers for purposes of the auction process:  BB&T Capital Markets, a division of Scott & Stringfellow, LLC, Blaylock Robert Van, LLC, Cabrera Capital Markets, LLC, Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., CastleOak Securities, L.P., CL King & Associates, D.A. Davidson & Co., FBR Capital Markets & Co., Guzman & Company, Jefferies & Company, Inc., Joseph Gunnar & Co. LLC, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc., Lebenthal & Co., LLC, M.R. Beal & Company, Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc., Samuel A. Ramirez & Co., Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, The Williams Capital Group, L.P., Toussaint Capital Partners, LLC, Utendahl Capital Partners, L.P., Wedbush Morgan Securities Inc. and WR Hambrecht + Co., LLC.