Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Wednesday that the expected cost of U.S. financial bailout has fallen by more than $400 billion in the last year.

We expect it to fall even further, Geithner said.

Last month, the Obama administration said that the expected cost of the $700 billion bailout program known as TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) would cost taxpayers $117 billion.

Geithner said today that the program would not cost the government one cent if Congress accepted an Obama administration proposal to charge large banks a fee to recover the remaining amount.

Throughout 2009, financial institutions have bought back billions of dollars of U.S. government investments made in the companies during the peak of the financial crisis in 2008. The government has also received billions of dollars in dividends from the investments in the institutions.

Last December, the Obama administration announced that it would allocate unused TARP funds to provide loans for small businesses and prevent foreclosures.