After the closing bell on Monday, shares of First Republic Bank fell more than 20% as the institution reported that deposits had fallen by more than $100 billion in the first quarter and that it was looking into options like restructuring its balance sheet.
Profits for the struggling lender that had been supported by a deposit injection from bigger US banks last month following the failure of two US regional lenders were overshadowed by the deposit decline.
According to a statement released on Monday, the bank intends to reduce costs in the second quarter by reducing executive salary, reducing office space, and eliminating 20% to 25% of its workforce.
The corporation also wants to decrease borrowings from the Federal Reserve Bank and boost insured deposits.
"We're taking steps to meaningfully reduce our expenses to align with our focus on reducing the size of the balance sheet," CEO Mike Roffler said in a post-earnings call, which ran for less than 15 minutes and ended without executives taking questions from analysts.
After Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank failed last month, clients began shifting billions of dollars to larger institutions, shattering consumer faith in US smaller banks. This brought the First Republic into sharp spotlight.
Despite the lender receiving a combined $30 billion lifeline in deposits from US banking behemoths including Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Wells Fargo & Co., deposits declined to $104.47 billion in the first quarter from $176.43 billion in the fourth quarter.
Absent the assistance from significant banks, the drop in deposits was close to $102 billion.
Nevertheless, the business said that deposits started to stabilise in the week of March 27 and continued to do so through April 21.
According to Refinitiv statistics, the lender earned $1.23 per share in the first quarter that ended in March, far more than the 85 cents per share analysts had predicted for the period.
Results revealed the full magnitude of First Republic's losses following the banking crisis last month, which increased worries of a panic spreading throughout the financial system. It also faces a difficult path to revive its fortunes, banking analysts and industry experts say.
It attracted high net worth clients for years by offering them advantageous rates on mortgages and loans, which made it more prone to risk than regional lenders with less affluent consumers.
This will discourage potential buyers of the bank because "a large mortgage portfolio at incredibly low rates generating little revenue is not very attractive," said Robert Conzo, CEO of New York-based investment advisory firm, The Wealth Alliance.
Its loan book and investment portfolio also became less valuable as interest rates rose.