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Federal Regulators Seize Failing First Republic Bank and Sell It to JPMorgan Chase

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
May 1, 2023

Federal regulators raced over the weekend to rescue the failed First Republic Bank, seizing it and selling it to JPMorgan Chase, several news organizations reported.

The sale, occurring before the markets opened on Monday morning, enabled 84 First Republic branches in eight states to reopen as JPMorgan branches. JPMorgan will take on all of First Republic’s $92 billion in deposits and buy most of its assets, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“Our government invited us and others to step up, and we did,” JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said Monday, according to The New York Times and several other news reports.

JPMorgan’s stock rose by 3.5 percent on Monday, while those of two other potential suitors, PNC Financial Services and Citizens Financial Group were down by more than 5 percent.

First Republic is the second largest U.S. bank by assets to collapse after Washington Mutual, which failed during the financial crisis of 2008 and was also acquired by JPMorgan. It comes after two more recent bank failures: those of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.

As with those two banks, First Republic lost billions of dollars in investments and loans as the Federal Reserve rapidly raised interest rates, the Times reported. When it became apparent that those assets were now worth much less, the bank suffered a run on deposits, and investors got rid of their shares. In recent weeks, the bank lost more than $100 billion in deposits, and its shares lost 97 percent of their value, The Washington Post reported.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, (FDIC) estimated that its insurance fund would have to pay out about $13 billion to cover First Republic’s losses. JPMorgan also said that the FDIC would provide it with $50 billion in financing and that JPMorgan would pay $10.6 billion to the FDIC, the Times reported.

First Republic’s market capitalization was $25 billion in February. As a result of this transaction, all of its previous shareholders have now been wiped out, the Times and The Financial Times reported.