First Republic Bank plunged to a record low as investors sorted through rescue scenarios, none of which is likely to be good for current shareholders.
The San Francisco-based bank gained as much as 6.6% on Friday and then collapsed more than 50% before trading was halted amid speculation that a takeover by regulators, while not the only possibility in play, is becoming more likely.
U.S. officials are coordinating talks to rescue First Republic, with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve orchestrating meetings about throwing it a lifeline, Reuters reported, citing unidentified people.
But some of the biggest U.S. banks, which have already contributed $30 billion in deposits to prop up First Republic, have balked at getting more involved and potentially throwing good money after bad, Bloomberg News reported.
The focus has shifted to a U.S. takeover, according to CNBC. For its part, First Republic has acknowledged it’s engaged in discussions with multiple parties about strategic options.
Some of the banks involved in the previous rescue favor the FDIC seizing First Republic and selling it off, Bloomberg reported. Such a resolution, they said, would be cleaner, even if banks lose some money, and some have already taken reserves. But it’s an outcome the FDIC would prefer to avoid in part because of the multibillion-dollar hit to its own deposit insurance fund.
Either scenario is perilous for current stockholders. Analysts have said the existing shares have little or no value, regardless of whether the bank is salvaged by new owners or goes into receivership. The FDIC has specifically said in recent takeovers that shareholders won’t be protected.
First Republic has been under pressure ever since Silicon Valley Bank’s demise last month stoked concerns about the soundness of other regional banks in the U.S. First Republic was left paying more for funding than it earns on many of its assets, meaning it faces what analysts predict will be at least a year of losses.
The bank’s executives emphasized in an earnings report earlier this week that it has ample cash reserves.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.