Federal Government May Increase Ownership in Banks

WASHINGTON (AP) - Increased government ownership in financial institutions is among the options under consideration as federal regulator prepare to launch a revamped program to shore up the nation's troubled banks.

That would be done through a technical change converting the status of the government's shares in a financial institution.

People familiar with the situation say Citigroup has approached regulators about ways the government could help strengthen the bank, including the stock conversion plan.  The new program would give the government greater flexibility in dealing with troubled banks.

Financial stocks are generally higher in Wall Street trading today, with Citigroup up nearly 11 percent.