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First Republic’s shares plummet amid reports of talks with regulators

ByTeam BB

Apr 26, 2023

First Republic stock plunged by nearly half on Tuesday after the bank reported weak earnings a day earlier and detailed the extent of a depositor exodus last month that left it hobbled.

The bank’s shares sank more than 49 percent Tuesday, the day after First Republic reported weak first-quarter results and revealed that depositors pulled out $102 billion in the first three months of 2023. Chief executive Michael J. Roffler said the company planned to cut as much as 25 percent of its workforce as the bank seeks to reduce its loan volume and “nonessential projects and activities.”

Roffler added that executives would look at “strategic options” for the bank.

The bank is talking to federal regulators, the Financial Times reported Tuesday, and options under consideration include a takeover by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and a rescue by some of the large banks that last month deposited $30 billion in First Republic in an attempt to stabilize it.

First Republic was among the small and regional U.S. banks caught in the blast radius of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. The crisis sparked global panic, with Credit Suisse, which lost $69 billion in assets in the first three months of 2023, being acquired by rival UBS in a hasty deal.

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