San Francisco-based First Republic Bank was closed by state and federal banking regulators over the weekend, then sold to JPMorgan Chase Bank.
First Republic, with $229 billion in total assets and $104 billion in total deposits as of April 13, is the second-largest U.S. bank ever to fail. Only Washington Mutual, which collapsed during the 2008 financial crisis, was larger.
The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation announced Monday it had taken possession of the bank and placed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as the receiver. The FDIC then announced the sale of First Republic to JPMorgan, which will be “assuming all of the deposits” and “substantially all of First Republic Bank’s assets.”
On Monday, First Republic’s 84 branch offices in eight states reopened as branches of JPMorgan. JPMorgan will take over approximately $173 billion of loans and $30 billion of securities. It will also assume $92 billion of deposits, including $30 billion of large bank deposits, which will be repaid post-close or eliminated in consolidation. JPMorgan will not be responsible for First Republic’s corporate debt or preferred stock, the bank announced in a press release.
“In carrying out this transaction, JPMorgan Chase is supporting the U.S. financial system through its significant strength and execution capabilities,” the bank said.
“Our government invited us and others to step up, and we did,” said Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, in the release. “Our financial strength, capabilities, and business model allowed us to develop a bid to execute the transaction in a way to minimize costs to the Deposit Insurance Fund.”
The FDIC estimated the hit to its Deposit Insurance Fund from the closure and sale of First Republic to be $13 billion. The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) was estimated to cost the fund $20 billion.
First Republic’s stock had plummeted since the March 10 failure of SVB. The bank saw an outflow of approximately $100 billion in deposits. Eleven large banks, including JPMorgan, deposited $30 billion with First Republic on March 16 in an attempt to stem the bleeding. But First Republic’s financial problems couldn’t be solved with that cash injection.
The collapse means the second-, third-, and fourth-largest U.S. bank failures in history have taken place since March 10, with First Republic ($229 billion), SVB ($209 billion), and New York-based Signature Bank ($110 billion) all shuttering.
The banking turmoil also spread to Europe, when troubled Credit Suisse announced March 19 it would be swallowed by its larger competitor, UBS.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen indicated March 21 that federal regulators would be willing to extend financial assistance—perhaps even extended deposit insurance—to mid-sized banks struggling to handle the fallout from the failures of SVB and Signature Bank.
Also Monday, the FDIC released an overview on the deposit insurance system. The report included three possibilities for reform, which were summarized in an agency press release:
- Maintain limited coverage but perhaps increase the $250,000 per account limit;
- Extend unlimited deposit insurance to all depositors; or
- Consider targeted coverage, which would apply “significantly” higher deposit insurance limits for business payment accounts.
The FDIC indicated it favors targeted coverage, noting any such changes to the rules for deposit insurance would require action by Congress.
Other regional banks continue to wobble, including PacWest Bancorp of California, Regions Financial Corp. of Alabama, and Zions Bancorporation of Utah.
On Friday, the Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, and the New York State Department of Financial Services issued reports highlighting the supervisory missteps of regulators in the leadup to the failures of SVB and Signature Bank. The regulators pledged to strengthen regulatory and supervisory procedures for mid-sized banks in the future.
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