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San Francisco-headquartered First Republic Bank slashes its workforce by up to 25 per cent

First Republic Bank, headquartered in San Francisco, is cutting its workforce by up to 25% in response to the fallout from the Silicon Valley Bank crisis in March, which has affected the wider US banking sector. Bloomberg reported that the bank missed its first-quarter target of $137bn, as customer deposits fell 41% to $104.5bn.

In response to this ‘unprecedented’ outflow, First Republic is considering strategic options as it seeks to reinforce its dominant position in the US. CEO Mike Roffler stated that the company is also taking steps to strengthen its business, with 90% of its wealth professionals retained.

Although the company’s uninsured deposits will remain a smaller part of its total deposit base, it will reduce its reliance on short-term borrowings and focus on originating loans that can be sold on the secondary market, while retaining servicing on these loans. However, in late New York trading, First Republic shares fell 12%.

The Silicon Valley Bank crisis led to the government taking over the collapsed bank, after a sale of available-for-sale securities resulted in a significant outflow of depositors. First Republic Bank was among the banks found to be sitting on large unrealised losses on their balance sheets.

The bank executives reportedly considered a sale of the entire bank, but the report stated that the large unrealised losses caused some buyers to avoid a buyout altogether. First Republic Bank, founded in 1985, has expanded its wealth-management services and related offerings over the decades, but in recent weeks, a number of its advisers have left for rivals.


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