The Treasury Department persuaded some big banks to pay more than market estimates to repurchase warrants issued to the government in the financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal said, citing a draft Treasury report.

Agency officials have been able to drive a hard bargain with some companies, particularly major banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley , rejecting bids that were in line with, or above, internal and external estimates, according to the paper's online edition.

Hundreds of banks had issued warrants to the government in return for government aid under the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

(Reporting by Shailesh Kuber in Bangalore, editing by Will Waterman)