Tue, 28 Mar 2023

New York [US], March 17 (ANI): First Republic Bank, facing a crisis of confidence from investors and customers, is set to receive a USD 30-billion lifeline from a group of America's largest banks, CNN Business reported.

"This show of support by a group of large banks is most welcome, and demonstrates the resilience of the banking system," the Treasury Department said in a statement on Thursday.

The major banks include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Truist.

The USD 30-billion infusion will give the struggling San Francisco lender much-needed cash to meet customer withdrawals and buttress confidence in the US banking system during a tumultuous moment for lenders, CNN Business said. A First Republic spokesman declined to comment.

In a statement, the banks said their action "reflects their confidence in First Republic and in banks of all sizes," adding that "regional, midsize and small banks are critical to the health and functioning of our financial system."First Republic's shares, which were halted several times for volatility on Thursday, ended the day up more than 10 per cent.

The bank's problems underscored continued worries about the banking system in the aftermath of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank.

According to CNN Business, both Fitch Ratings and S and P Global Ratings downgraded First Republic Bank's credit rating on Wednesday over concerns that depositors could pull their cash.

Many regional banks, including First Republic, have large amounts of uninsured deposits above the USD 250,000 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) limit. Although not close to SVB's massive percentage of uninsured deposits (94 per cent of its total), First Republic has a sizable 68 per cent of total deposits that are uninsured, according to SP Global.

CNN Business said that led many customers to exit the bank and put their money elsewhere, creating a problem for First Republic: It has to borrow money or sell assets to pay customers their deposits in cash.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday met privately in Washington with JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon before 11 banks agreed to deposit USD 30 billion in First Republic Bank to stabilise the teetering lender, according to two people familiar with the matter told CNN Business.

The meeting served as a culmination of what had been a series of conversations over the last two days between Yellen and other US officials and leaders from some of the country's largest banks as they sought a private sector lifeline for the battered California bank.

CNN Business said Yellen had driven the effort from the government side, while Dimon led the effort to organize the bank executives that would eventually get behind the dramatic infusion of deposits.

Yellen first conceived of the idea of the largest US banks coming together to direct deposits toward First Republic, according to a separate source familiar with the matter told CNN Business. The move was seen as critical to stabilizing the bank's deposit base - but also a critical signal to financial markets about both the bank and the US financial system. (ANI)

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