JPMorgan snaps up First Republic’s assets in U.S. auction

by mcardinal

JPMorgan Chase & Co said on Monday it will buy most of First Republic Bank’s assets after regulators seized the troubled lender at the weekend, marking the third failure of a major U.S. bank in two months.

Under the deal, which came after an auction, JPMorgan will pay $10.6 billion to the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) for most of the assets of the San Francisco-based bank, whose failure is the largest since Washington Mutual in 2008.

JPMorgan, already the biggest bank in the United States, has also entered into a loss-share agreement with the FDIC on single-family, residential, and commercial loans it bought, but will not take First Republic Bank’s corporate debt or preferred stock.

The deal allows for an orderly failure of First Republic and avoids regulators having to insure all the bank’s deposits, as they had to do when two others collapsed in March.

First Republic disclosed last week that it had suffered more than $100 billion in outflows in the first quarter and was exploring options, increasing stress in the banking sector.

Global banking has been rocked by the closure of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in March, while Switzerland’s Credit Suisse had to be rescued by rival UBS.

First Republic shares tumbled 43.3% in premarket trading on Monday before they were halted. The bank’s stock has lost 97% of its value this year. JPMorgan shares rose 2.7%.

“When it was just SVB, it was easy to blame management. However, now that we see the pattern it is evident that the Fed has moved too far, too fast, and is breaking things,” said Thomas J. Hayes, Chairman and Managing Member, Great Hill Capital.

The U.S. Federal Reserve has been persistently raising its benchmark interest rate since last year, despite calls for a pause after the banking turmoil in March.

Investors have priced in a 90% chance of another 25 basis point rate hike after the central bank’s two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

JPMorgan was one of several interested buyers including PNC Financial Services Group, and Citizens Financial Group Inc, which submitted final bids on Sunday in an auction by U.S. regulators, sources familiar with the matter said.

PNC shares were 2.5% lower in premarket trading.


The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation said it had taken possession of First Republic and the FDIC would act as its receiver.

The FDIC estimated in a statement that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) would be about $13 billion. The final cost will be known when the FDIC ends the receivership.

The U.S. Treasury Department welcomed the resolution, saying it was done at the “least cost” to the DIF.

JPMorgan has assumed all of the bank’s deposits, it said, and will repay $25 billion of the $30 billion big banks deposited with First Republic in March. New York-based JPMorgan will take on $173 billion of loans, $30 billion of securities, and $92 billion of deposits.

The acquired businesses will be overseen by JPMorgan’s Consumer and Community Banking (CCB) Co-CEOs, Marianne Lake and Jennifer Piepszak, it said in a statement.

The rescue comes less than two months after a deposit flight from U.S. lenders forced the Fed to step in with emergency measures to stabilize markets. Those failures came after crypto-focused Silvergate voluntarily liquidated.

“Our government invited us and others to step up, and we did,” said Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chairman and CEO.

“Our financial strength, capabilities, and business model allowed us to develop a bid to execute the transaction in a way to minimize costs to the Deposit Insurance Fund.”

JPMorgan said it expected to achieve a one-time, post-tax gain of approximately $2.6 billion after the deal which did not reflect an estimated $2 billion dollars of post-tax restructuring costs likely over the next 18 months.

It said the bank would be “very well-capitalized” with a common equity tier one (CET1) ratio consistent with its 13.5% first-quarter 2024 target and keep healthy liquidity buffers.

The failed bank’s 84 offices in eight states will reopen as branches of JPMorgan Chase Bank from Monday, it added.

JPMorgan has been on a buying spree since 2021, acquiring more than 30 companies in deals totaling more than $5 billion.

U.S. regulators have been slow to approve large bank deals in recent years, while the Biden administration has also cracked down on anti-competitive practices.

Copyright 2023 Thomson/Reuters