The crucial need to increase capital, reach more customers, and continue to grow prompted a number of banks to seek help from the federal government. At least six black-owned banks received nearly $60 million in new capital from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program. At New Orleans-based Liberty Bank and Trust Co. (No. 5 on the BE Banks list with $372.7 million in assets), the bank’s president, Alden McDonald Jr., says his bank plans to use $5.6 million in TARP capital to boost lending. Though his bank’s assets grew 16% in 2008, profits plunged 24%. Liberty won a bid last year to take over Kansas City, Missouri-based Douglass National Bank; the deal added about $50 million in assets but cut profits, largely because of expenses tied to the purchase.