NEW YORK (AP) — When 11 of the biggest U.S. banks announced their $30 billion rescue package for First Republic Bank this week, those banks, notably, were coming to the rescue of one of their competitors. When Silicon Valley Bank failed, it was because its closest and most loyal customers, venture capitalists and startups, fled the bank at the first sign of trouble.
“We are deploying our financial strength and liquidity into the larger system, where it is needed the most,” the banks said.
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The nation’s banking regulators issued a statement praising the rescue package: “This show of support by a group of large banks is most welcome, and demonstrates the resilience of the banking system,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg said in a joint statement.
The $30 billion bet on First Republic — to prevent it from becoming the third bank to fail in less than a week — was pitched as a bulwark against future bank runs.
The latest: First Republic plans private stock sale to raise cash: report
San Francisco–based First Republic
serves a similar clientele as did Silicon Valley Bank
which failed last week after depositors withdrew about $40 billion in a matter of hours. New York’s Signature Bank was shuttered on Sunday. It appears that First Republic, which had deposits totaling $176.4 billion as of Dec. 31, was facing similar issues.
Context: From SVB’s sudden collapse to Credit Suisse’s fallout: 8 charts show turbulence in financial markets
Also: SVB Financial files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with about $2.2 billion of liquidity
And: California House Democrats demand investigation into Goldman Sachs’ relationship with Silicon Valley Bank
The group of banks behind the rescue package confirmed that other unnamed banks had seen large withdrawals of uninsured deposits. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insures deposits up $250,000 for individual accounts.
First Republic’s shares, it must be noted, dropped more than 60% Monday, even after the bank said it had secured additional funding from JPMorgan
and the Federal Reserve. It recovered sharply in the subsequent session but ended Friday near the week’s lowest levels.
The rescue package brought back memories of the 2008 financial crisis, when banks collectively came to the aid of weaker banks in the early days of the crisis. Banks then bought others in hurried deals in order to keep the crisis from spreading.
See: Why First Republic’s $30 billion rescue hasn’t ended the turmoil in banking
The $30 billion in uninsured deposits is seen as a vote of confidence in First Republic, whose banking franchise before the past week was the envy of much of the industry. The bank catered to wealthy clients, many of them billionaires, and offered them generous financial terms. The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg got a mortgage through First Republic.
As part of the aid package, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America
and Wells Fargo
agreed to each put $5 billion in uninsured deposits into First Republic.
and Goldman Sachs
agreed deposit $2.5 billion each into the bank. The remaining $5 billion would consist of $1 billion contributions from BNY Mellon
and US Bank
“The actions of America’s largest banks reflect their confidence in the country’s banking system,” the banks said in a statement.
The shares of many regional and midsized banks have been hit hard as investors feared depositors would withdraw their cash and run exclusively to the biggest banks.
Don’t miss: Signature Bank Chicago wants you to know it’s not the bank that failed
Also read: Analyst says banking crisis is ‘over.’ Is it too soon to invest in bank stocks?
Last 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.
While the banking crisis started with Silicon Valley Bank, regulators told reporters that it became necessary for the government to backstop the banking system because it appeared more runs were possible.
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