Republic First becomes first bank in 2024 to collapse

Republic First Bank became the first bank to fail this year, as the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS) took possession of the Philadelphia-based bank last week.

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Citing its “unsafe and unsound” condition, the department took possession of the bank in order to protect investors. The DoBS then appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver of the bank.

Subsequently, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Fulton Bank, National Association of Lancaster, Pa., to acquire deposits and substantially all of the assets of Republic First Bank. The transaction has closed, as all regulatory approvals have been obtained.

“With this transaction, we are excited to double our presence across the region,” Fulton Chairman and CEO Curt Myers said. “We look forward to welcoming Republic Bank’s team members and customers to Fulton and providing our comprehensive set of consumer, commercial and wealth advisory products and services to even more customers.”

Fulton purchased about $6 billion in assets from Republic First, via the FDIC, including an investment portfolio of approximately $2 billion and loans of roughly $2.9 billion. It also assumed liabilities of about $5.3 billion, including deposits of approximately $4 billion and other borrowings and liabilities of roughly $1.3 billion.

The acquisition also advances Fulton growth plan in a strategically important market, Philadelphia, where it doubles its presence. The combined company will have deposits of approximately $8.6 billion. Also, its loan to deposit ratio will decrease from 99 percent to 92 percent, improving its liquidity profile.

FDIC officials assured Republic First customers that their deposits are safe and no money will be lost due to the closure of the bank.

During the transition, Republic Bank depositors will continue to have uninterrupted access to their accounts through online banking or by writing checks, using existing ATMs or debit cards, Fulton officials said. Republic Bank depositors will become Fulton depositors, so they do not need to change their banking relationship to retain their federally insured deposit insurance coverage.

Starting this week, former Republic Bank financial centers will reopen as Fulton with their regularly scheduled operating hours.

Last year, three major banks failed and went into FDIC receivership, including Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and First Republic.