Regional bank Comerica Inc on Wednesday said it has repaid $2.25 billion of federal bailout money, while Hartford Financial Services Group Inc said it sold $1.95 billion of stock to help repay $3.4 billion of its bailout funds.

The companies are the latest to take steps to exit the U.S. Treasury Department's $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, which was created to shore up the financial system and the confidence of investors and customers after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc went bankrupt in September 2008.

Many recipients of bailout funds now view participation in the program as a stigma because of a perception that doing so is a sign of weakness, or because of a public backlash against perceived excessive government involvement in the sector.

Through March 9, more than 70 recipients of TARP funds had repaid all or some of their bailout funds, Treasury data released last week show.

Hartford said it sold $1.45 billion of common stock in the form of about 52.25 million shares at $27.75 each. It said it also issued $500 million of preferred stock that automatically converts into common stock in three years.

It plans to repay its remaining bailout funds by issuing debt and using cash on hand. Hartford does not plan to buy back warrants it had given the government to buy stock.

Comerica, meanwhile, said it earlier this month issued $880 million of common stock to help fund its TARP repayment. It said the repayment eliminates an annual $134 million reduction in earnings related to the government aid.

Hartford is based in Hartford, Connecticut, and Comerica in Dallas.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Additional reporting by Brenton Cordeiro in Bangalore; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)