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Moody’s Puts First Republic On Downgrade Watch On Outflow Risk

Moody’s put all long-term ratings of First Republic Bank on review, as the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank reverberates across the sector.
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A First Republic Bank branch in Los Angeles, California, US, on Friday, March 10, 2023. First Republic Bank and PacWest Bancorp both plunged Friday as the upheaval at SVB Financial Group spread to other lenders. Photographer: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg
A First Republic Bank branch in Los Angeles, California, US, on Friday, March 10, 2023. First Republic Bank and PacWest Bancorp both plunged Friday as the upheaval at SVB Financial Group spread to other lenders. Photographer: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg
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Moody’s put all long-term ratings of First Republic Bank on review, as the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank reverberates across the sector.

“The review for downgrade reflects the extremely volatile funding conditions for some US banks exposed to the risk of uninsured deposit outflows,” Moody’s said in a statement, citing a “material” amount of deposits above the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation threshold. 

“Ratings could be downgraded if the bank’s deposit base has eroded markedly, triggering asset sales, loss crystallization and a higher reliance on market funding,” it said.   

The assessment comes after US bank stocks slid on Monday. Among them were those of San Francisco-based First Republic, which had tried to reassure investors with a statement about the strength of its liquidity. 

Investors are questioning whether the US government’s hastily assembled weekend rescue plan for the banking system will be sufficient to stem fallout from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

“If it were to face higher-than-anticipated deposit outflows and liquidity backstops proved insufficient, the bank could need to sell assets,” Moody’s also said. 

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