The Treasury Department said Tuesday that it would auction off securities it acquired in 53 banks, including two in Maryland.

The government acquired these preferred shares and subordinated debt positions as part of the Trouble Asset Relief Program, which was created four years ago to prevent a widespread collapse of the financial system. Under TARP, the government provided banks with capital in exchange for interest-paying securities. Now that the Treasury is winding down TARP, the government has been auctioning off the bank securities.

Delmar Bancorp of Salisbury and First United Corp. of Oakland will be part of an auction that may be held as early as late January, according to the Treasury.

eileen.ambrose@baltsun.com

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