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Feds Working To Rescue First Republic As Fears Of Another Bank Failure Emerge

A First Republic Bank location in Manhattan

UPDATE, MAY 1, 7:41 A.M. ET: Regulators seized First Republic Bank, and JP Morgan has signed a deal to purchase most of its assets, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

Fears about a potential banking crisis re-emerged Friday as First Republic Bank's stock plunged 40% on reports that it may go into receivership. 

Three key federal agencies are holding "urgent" talks about how to rescue the bank, Reuters reported Friday morning. CNBC reported that the most likely outcome is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. taking First Republic Bank into receivership. 

As part of the talks with the FDICTreasury Department and Federal Reserve, other banks are being asked for potential bids on First Republic if it were to be seized, CNBC reported, with the bank adding that there is still hope for a nonreceivership solution. 

“We are engaged in discussions with multiple parties about our strategic options while continuing to serve our clients," First Republic told CNBC.

The bank didn't respond to a request for comment from Bisnow on the status of the talks. 

In March, 11 banks, including JPMorgan ChaseBank of America and Citigroup, stepped in to provide First Republic with a $30B emergency cash infusion following earlier threats to its health. With the most recent struggle to stay afloat, these lenders have been hesitant to provide further help and would rather take the loss on the funds for a cleaner break, Bloomberg reported. 

If the bank ends up shutting its doors, there could be major ripple effects for the economy and the commercial real estate market. One of the primary impacts could be a further disruption of the lending market, hurting the ability of office lenders to secure much-needed refinancing deals, The New York Times reported Friday

Around $400B in commercial mortgages are expected to mature by the end of 2023, and office assets serve as collateral for roughly a quarter of those loans, according to MSCI data released last month.  

Following the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, other small and midsized banks have pulled back on lending, reducing a key source of financing for commercial real estate developers across the country. 

Also on Friday, the Federal Reserve released a report analyzing its handling of the Silicon Valley Bank crisis. The report found that it didn't fully appreciate the bank's vulnerabilities as it grew, and when those risks became apparent, it didn't take fast enough action to ensure the bank fixed its problems, The Wall Street Journal reported

To help avoid these crises in the future, Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr called for changing some regulations for banks with over $100B in assets, according to the WSJ.