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Big banks create $30B rescue package for First Republic

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                A television screen displaying financial news is seen inside one of First Republic Bank’s branches in the Financial District of Manhattan, today. The S&P 500 was 0.8% higher in midday trading after erasing an earlier loss of nearly that much following reports that First Republic Bank could receive financial assistance or sell itself to another bank.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS

A television screen displaying financial news is seen inside one of First Republic Bank’s branches in the Financial District of Manhattan, today. The S&P 500 was 0.8% higher in midday trading after erasing an earlier loss of nearly that much following reports that First Republic Bank could receive financial assistance or sell itself to another bank.

NEW YORK >> Eleven of the biggest banks in the country announced a $30 billion rescue package for First Republic Bank today, in an effort to prevent the California-based bank from becoming the third bank to fail in less than a week.

First Republic serves a similar clientele as Silicon Valley Bank, which failed Friday after depositors withdrew about $40 billion. It appears that First Republic, which had deposits totaling $176.4 billion as of Dec. 31, was facing a similar crisis.

In a statement, the group of banks confirmed that other unnamed banks had seen large amounts of withdrawals of uninsured deposits, which are those that exceed the $250,000 level insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. First Republic’s shares dropped more than 60% Monday, even after the bank said it had secured additional funding from JPMorgan and the Federal Reserve.

Today the bank’s shares were down as much as 36%, but rallied after reports the rescue package was in the works, and closed up nearly 9%.

JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo have agreed to each put $5 billion in uninsured deposits into First Republic. Meanwhile Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs would deposit $2.5 billion each into the bank. The remaining $5 billion would consist of $1 billion contributions from BNY Mellon, State Street, PNC Bank, Truist and US Bank.

“The actions of America’s largest banks reflect their confidence in the country’s banking system,” the banks said in their statement.

The nation’s banking regulators also issued a statement in support of the bank rescue package.

“This show of support by a group of large banks is most welcome, and demonstrates the resilience of the banking system,” said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg.

The news could help calm the nerves of bank investors after the collapse last week of Silicon Valley Bank, which was the second biggest bank failure in U.S. history after the demise of Washington Mutual in 2008.

The shuttering of Silicon Valley Bank Friday and of New York-based Signature Bank two days later has revived bad memories of the financial crisis that plunged the United States into the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

Over the weekend the federal government, determined to restore public confidence in the banking system, moved to protect all the banks’ deposits, even those that exceeded the FDIC’s $250,000 limit per individual account.

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