The road to First Republic Bank’s collapse

May 01, 2023
FILE PHOTO: First Republic Bank branch in San Francisco

(Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co is buying most of First Republic Bank’s assets, which had been seized by United States regulators, in a last-ditch rescue for the strained lender, marking the third major U.S. bank to fail in two months.

Last week, First Republic reported a more than $100 billion plunge in deposits in the first quarter that sparked a brutal sell-off in the lender’s shares.

Banks have been staring at the biggest crisis since 2008 after two U.S. lenders collapsed in March and the turmoil has ratcheted up fears of a contagion and prompted action from the U.S. Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury and the private sector.

Below is a timeline of key events:

Date Development

March 8 Crypto-friendly bank Silvergate Capital Corp says

it would wind down operations and voluntarily


Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) says it intends to raise

$2.25 billion in common equity and preferred

convertible stock.

March 9 The S&P 500 bank index tumbles following SVB’s

announcement and crypto bank Silvergate’s decision

to wind down operations. SVB stock collapses by

60%, leading the company to scramble to reassure

its clients their money was safe.

March 10 A California regulator shuts SVB and appoints the

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as

receiver. U.S. bank stocks extend losses with

regional lenders hit the hardest.

U.S. lenders First Republic Bank and Western

Alliance say their liquidity and deposits remained

strong, aiming to calm investors worried of a


SVB CEO Greg Becker leaves the board of directors

at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

March 11 The U.S. Federal Reserve and the FDIC weigh the

creation of a fund that would allow regulators to

backstop more deposits at banks, Bloomberg News


March 12 Yellen says she is working closely with banking

regulators to respond to the SVB collapse. U.S.

officials later say SVB customers will have access

to their deposits.

New York state’s Department of Financial Services

takes possession of New York-based Signature Bank.

March 13 HSBC acquires the UK subsidiary of Silicon Valley

Bank for 1 pound.

The FDIC says it has transferred all deposits of

SVB to a newly created bridge bank.

U.S. President Joe Biden says the administration’s

actions should give Americans confidence that the

banking system is safe.

Western Alliance Bancorp says more than 50% of its

total deposits were insured and it has over $25

billion of cash reserves. Shares of U.S. regional

banks slump, led by First Republic, while credit

risk indicators flash red as investors worry about

contagion risks.

March 14 Moody’s Investors Service revises its outlook on

the U.S. banking system to “negative” from

“stable”, citing heightened risks.

U.S. prosecutors investigate the collapse of SVB,

a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

March 15 Troubled Swiss giant Credit Suisse says it will

strengthen its liquidity by borrowing from the

Swiss National Bank up to 50 billion Swiss francs

($54 billion).

March 16 Yellen tells a U.S. Senate hearing that uninsured

deposits would only be guaranteed in banks deemed

a contagion threat, raising fears about smaller


Large U.S. banks inject $30 billion in deposits

into First Republic Bank to shore up the lender’s


March 17 SVB Financial Group files for Chapter 11

bankruptcy protection.

March 18 UBS is examining a takeover of Credit Suisse that

could see the Swiss government offer a guarantee

against the risks involved, say two people with

knowledge of the matter.

March 19 UBS agrees to buy Credit Suisse for 3 billion

Swiss francs in stock and agrees to assume up to 5

billion francs in losses.

March 20 The FDIC decides to break up SVB and hold two

separate auctions for its traditional deposits

unit and its private bank after failing to find a

buyer for the lender.

March 21 U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen tells bankers

that she is prepared to intervene to protect

depositors in smaller U.S. banks.

Reuters reports, citing sources, that First

Republic is looking at ways it can downsize if its

attempts to raise new capital fail

March 22 Yellen tells lawmakers that she has not considered

or discussed “blanket insurance” to U.S. banking

deposits without approval by Congress, again

stirring up investor worry. Federal Reserve Chair

Jerome Powell says SVB’s failure is not indicative

of wider weaknesses in the banking system.

March 27 First Citizens BancShares Inc says it would

acquire the deposits and loans of failed Silicon

Valley Bank.

April 24 First Republic shares sink after reporting

deposits plunged by more than $100 billion in the

first quarter and that it was exploring options

such as restructuring its balance sheet.

April 25 First Republic faces dwindling and tough options

to turn around its business with the creation of a

‘bad bank’ or asset sales possibilities, a source

tells Reuters.

April 26 First Republic advisers have already lined up

potential purchasers of new stock in the lender if

they can fix the bank’s balance sheet, CNBC

reports citing sources

April 28 The FDIC is prepared to place First Republic under

receivership imminently, a source says.

U.S. officials coordinate urgent talks to rescue

First Republic as private-sector efforts led by

the bank’s advisers yet to reach a deal, three

sources tell Reuters.

April 29 U.S. regulators try to clinch a sale of First

Republic Bank over the weekend, with roughly half

a dozen banks bidding, sources tell Reuters.

April 30 PNC Financial Services Group, JPMorgan Chase and

Citizens Financial Group Inc among banks that

submitted final bids for First Republic, according

to sources.

May 1 U.S. regulators say First Republic Bank has been

seized and a deal agreed to sell the bank’s assets

to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Sources: company statements, press conferences, media reports

(Reporting by Mehnaz Yasmin amd Manya Saini in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Krishna Chandra Eluri)