First Republic seized by US regulators

The embattled First Republic Bank has been taken over by regulators and will be sold to JPMorgan Chase, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) announced on Monday.

Earlier this week, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), a principal federal regulator of US financial institutions, asked a number of banks to submit bids for the struggling lender in an effort to secure a buyer before it entered receivership. A deadline for bids was set for Sunday.

JPMorgan, America’s biggest bank, will “assume all deposits, including all uninsured deposits, and substantially all assets” of First Republic, according to a statement issued by the Californian regulator.

The DFPI has appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as the receiver of the San Francisco-based bank, the total assets of which amounted to nearly $229.1 billion as of April 13, 2023, while its total deposits totaled some $103.9 billion.

“Deposits are federally insured by the FDIC subject to applicable limits,” the statement read.

Last week, a massive sell-off wiped out 75% of the bank’s stock value, following the disclosure that it had lost more than $100 billion of deposits in the first quarter of the current year. The San Francisco-based lender has struggled to stay afloat since the US banking sector was hit by a major crisis.

The seizure and pending sale of First Republic Bank make it the third US lender to fail after the collapses of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in March. Both were shut down by regulators following massive bank runs.

In March, leading US financial institutions agreed a $30 billion injection for the troubled regional lender. Shares of First Republic are down 97% this year.

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