NEW YORK (AP) – When 11 of the largest U.S. banks this week announced their $30 billion rescue package for First Republic Bank, those banks, in particular, 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 in the larger system where it is most needed,” the banks said.
The country’s banking regulators issued a statement praising the rescue package: “This show of support by a group of large banks is welcome, and demonstrates the resilience of the banking system,” said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Acting for the Currency Comptroller Michael Hsu, Federal Reserve Chairman 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 offered as a hedge against future bank runs.
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San Francisco-based First Republic FRC,
Silicon Valley Bank serves the same customers as SIVB,
That failed last week when depositors pulled out nearly $40 billion in a matter of hours. Signature Bank of New York is closed on Sunday. It appears that First Republic, which had deposits totaling $176.4 billion as of December 31, was facing similar issues.
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Too: SVB Financial files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with about $2.2 billion in liquidity
And: California House Democrats demand probe into Goldman Sachs’ ties to Silicon Valley bank
The group of banks behind the rescue package confirmed that other unnamed banks have seen large withdrawals of uninsured deposits. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures deposits of up to $250,000 for individual accounts.
Shares of First Republic, it should be noted, fell more than 60% on Monday, even after the bank said it had received additional funding from JPMorgan JPM,
and the Federal Reserve. It corrected sharply in the subsequent session but ended near the week’s low on Friday.
The rescue package evoked memories of the 2008 financial crisis, when banks collectively came to the aid of weak banks in the early days of the crisis. To prevent the crisis from spreading, banks hurriedly bought out others.
Look: Why First Republic’s $30 billion rescue hasn’t ended the banking turmoil
The $30 billion in uninsured deposits is seen as a vote of confidence in First Republic, whose banking franchise was the envy of much of the industry before last week. The bank served wealthy clients, many of them billionaires, and offered them generous financial terms. The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg received a mortgage through First Republic.
As part of the aid package, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America BAC,
and Wells Fargo WFC,
Agreed to put $5 billion each in uninsured deposits into First Republic.
Morgan Stanley MS,
and Goldman Sachs GS,
Each agreed to deposit $2.5 billion in banks. Of the remaining $5 billion, BNY Mellon BK will contribute $1 billion.
State Street Stt,
PNC Bank PNC,
and US Bank USB,
“The actions of America’s largest banks reflect their confidence in the nation’s banking system,” the banks said in a statement.
Shares of several regional and mid-sized banks were badly hit as investors feared depositors would withdraw their cash and especially go to the largest banks.
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Late last week the federal government, determined to restore public confidence in the banking system, moved to protect all bank deposits, even those that exceed the FDIC’s $250,000 per individual account. were over the limit.
While the banking crisis began with Silicon Valley Bank, regulators told reporters that it became necessary for the government to backstop the banking system as it appeared more runs were possible.
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