U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Thursday the economy has regained enough strength to allow a shift in strategy from rescue to preparing for future growth.

As we enter this new phase we must begin winding down some of the extraordinary support we put in place for the financial system, he said in prepared remarks for delivery to the Congressional Oversight Panel for the bank bailout fund.

Geithner said banks that got capital injections in the form of taxpayer-provided funds have repaid more than $70 billion, reducing the government's total investment to $180 billion. We now estimate that banks will repay another $50 billion over the next 12 to 18 months, he added.

(Reporting by Glenn Somerville; Editing by Andrea Ricci)