Large U.S. banks injected USD 30 billion in deposits into First Republic Bank on Thursday, swooping in to rescue the lender caught up in a widening crisis triggered by the collapse of two other mid-size U.S. lenders over the past week.
“By having the largest banks in the US inject liquidity directly into First Republic, we are seeing a route to the bank receiving liquidity outside of the mechanisms of government,” said Thomas Wade, director of financial policy at the American Action Forum in Washington. “We don’t know enough as of yet exactly how the large banks have been encouraged to perform this life saving maneuver.”
Banking stocks globally have been battered since Silicon Valley Bank collapsed last week due to bond-related losses that piled up when interest rates surged last year, raising questions about what else might be lurking in the wider banking system.
Within days, the market turmoil had ensnared Swiss lender Credit Suisse, forcing it to borrow up to USD 54 billion from Switzerland’s central bank to shore up liquidity.
Some of the biggest U.S. banking names including JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup Inc, Bank of America Corp, Wells Fargo & Co, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were involved in the rescue, according to a statement from the banks.
A round of financing on Sunday raised through JPMorgan had given First Republic access to USD 70 billion in funds. But that failed to calm investors as worries of a contagion deepened with the demise of Signature Bank to follow that of SVB and depositors began moving cash to larger lenders.
Policymakers have tried to emphasize that the current turmoil is different than the global financial crisis 15 years ago as banks are better capitalized and funds more easily available.
But central bank data on Thursday also showed that banks sought record amounts of emergency liquidity from the Federal Reserve in recent days, driving up the size of the Fed’s balance sheet after months of contraction.
First Republic Bank’s stock closed up 10 percent on news of the rescue but its shares fell 18 percent in after-market trading after the bank said it would suspend its dividend.