The U.S. Treasury said on Wednesday that it plans to sell its preferred stock position in six community banks as part of the Obama administration's effort to unwind bailout programs from the financial crisis.

Treasury said it plans to conduct public auctions to sell its stock in Banner Corp , First Financial Holdings Inc , MainSource Financial Group , Seacoast Banking Corp , Wilshire Bancorp and WSFS Financial Corp .

It has so far recovered $259 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program bank programs, which were set up to help stabilize the financial system during the 2007-09 crisis.

The Treasury said it expects to start unwinding its positions in the six small banks around March 26 using a modified Dutch auction that establishes a market price by allowing investors to submit bids at specified increments.

Treasury still has stakes in 361 banks. Last week the administration announced plans to cut its position in insurer American International Group to 70 percent from 77 percent.

(Reporting by Rachelle Younglai; Editing by Gary Crosse and Jan Paschal)