Banks Create $30 Billion Rescue Package for First Republic

The bank serves a similar clientele as Silicon Valley Bank, which failed Friday after depositors withdrew about $40 billion.

AP/Mary Altaffer
A First Republic Bank branch at New York City, March 16, 2023. AP/Mary Altaffer

Eleven of the biggest banks in the country announced a $30 billion rescue package for First Republic Bank on Thursday, in an effort to prevent the California-based bank from becoming the third bank to fail in less than a week.

First Republic serves a similar clientele as Silicon Valley Bank, which failed Friday after depositors withdrew about $40 billion. It appears that First Republic, which had deposits totaling $176.4 billion as of December 31, was facing a similar crisis.

In a statement, the group of banks confirmed that other unnamed banks had seen large amounts of withdrawals of uninsured deposits, which are those that exceed the $250,000 level insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. 

First Republic’s shares dropped more than 60 percent Monday, even after the bank said it had secured additional funding from JPMorgan and the Federal Reserve.

Thursday the bank’s shares were down as much as 36 percent, but rallied after reports the rescue package was in the works, and closed up nearly 9 percent.

JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo have agreed to each put $5 billion in uninsured deposits into First Republic. 

Meanwhile Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs would deposit $2.5 billion each into the bank. The remaining $5 billion would consist of $1 billion contributions from BNY Mellon, State Street, PNC Bank, Truist, and US Bank.

“The actions of America’s largest banks reflect their confidence in the country’s banking system,” the banks said in their statement.

The nation’s banking regulators also issued a statement in support of the bank rescue package.

“This show of support by a group of large banks is most welcome, and demonstrates the resilience of the banking system,” said Treasury Secretary Yellen, along with the acting Comptroller of the Currency, Michael Hsu; the Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell; and the FDIC chairman, Martin Gruenberg.

The news could help calm the nerves of bank investors after the collapse last week of Silicon Valley Bank, which was the second biggest bank failure in American history after the demise of Washington Mutual in 2008.

The shuttering of Silicon Valley Bank Friday and of New York-based Signature Bank two days later has revived bad memories of the financial crisis that plunged the United States into the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009.

Over the weekend the federal government, determined to restore public confidence in the banking system, moved to protect all the banks’ deposits, even those that exceeded the FDIC’s $250,000 limit per individual account.

Associated Press

The New York Sun

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