Finance

JPMorgan advising First Republic on strategic alternatives, including a capital raise, sources say

JPMorgan Chase is advising embattled First Republic Bank on strategic alternatives, sources told CNBC’s David Faber.

The alternatives may include a capital raise, the sources said, which could dilute current shareholders. A sale of the bank is also a possibility.

First Republic shares dropped 47% in a volatile session, extending a dramatic decline in March. The stock is now down 90% month to date.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that JPMorgan and its CEO, Jamie Dimon, were working with others in the industry on a solution for the bank, whose shares are down 87% this month.

JPMorgan and 10 other banks announced last week that they were depositing a combined $30 billion in First Republic, which has suffered from large cash outflows in the wake of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. The move was meant to shore up confidence in First Republic and the regional banking sector as a whole, but First Republic’s stock has continued to fall.

First Republic disclosed last week that it had borrowed tens of billions of dollars from the Federal Reserve and the Federal Home Loan Banks to help handle deposit outflows. First Republic had an abnormally high number of uninsured deposits on its books, which was part of the problem with the now-failed Silicon Valley Bank.

The efforts by private banks to help out First Republic come after moves by federal regulators to ease pressure on the banking sector. That includes a Bank Term Funding Program that allows banks to more easily use their high-quality assets to raise cash.

A sale of First Republic to a larger bank would be in line with what happened to some struggling banks during the 2008 financial crisis and with the UBS deal to buy Credit Suisse over the weekend. However, the potential losses in First Republic’s loans and bonds have limited the appetite for such a move, Faber previously reported.

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