Bank of America Corp said on Wednesday it completed a previously announced plan to repay $45 billion in U.S. government aid, issued at the height of the financial crisis.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender repaid the full $45 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, funds with corporate cash after completing a $19.29 billion securities offering that comprised a portion of the deal, the company said.

The bank had initially announced an agreement with the U.S. Treasury to repay TARP on December 2.

The move ends more than a year of increased government involvement at the largest U.S. bank, which has sometimes chafed at the added scrutiny.

In a prepared statement, Chief Executive Ken Lewis said the company cleared a key hurdle in demonstrating the economy's broader health.

Bank of America projects its Tier 1 Common Capital ratio -- a key metric used by investors and regulators to measure a bank's health during the crisis -- improved from 7.3 percent as of September 30 to a pro forma 8.4 percent.

The company originally received the government aid in two payments, an initial $25 billion in the fall of 2008 at the height of the financial crisis, and another $20 billion in January 2009 as part of the deal to purchase Merrill Lynch & Co.

The bank was the lone vocal critic of the U.S. pay czar Kenneth Feinberg's initial compensation rules in October, when he curbed pay at seven U.S. companies that had received so-called extraordinary government assistance.

Lewis said has publicly stated throughout the year that repaying TARP was a top priority before he retired. He is slated to retire on December 31.

(Reporting by Joe Rauch, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)