Ex-First Republic CEO blames contagion for bank’s collapse


(Reuters) – The former chief executive of the First Republic Bank Michael Roffler blamed the bank’s collapse on the contagion from the failures of other regional banks and said regulators did not express concerns regarding the bank’s strategy, liquidity, or management performance.

A total of over $100 billion in deposits were withdrawn from the bank over the course of weeks in response to an industry-wide panic about the soundness of regional banks, Roffler said in his prepared testimony to the Senate Banking Committee that will be delivered at a hearing on Wednesday.

“We could not have anticipated that Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank would fail, or that the failure of those banks would trigger substantial deposit outflows at our bank,” he said.

First Republic’s financial position and strategy were regularly reviewed by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) and the FDIC, he said.

California banking regulators shut down First Republic Bank on May 1 and sold its assets to JPMorgan Chase & Co , in a deal to resolve the largest U.S. bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis and draw a line under lingering banking turmoil.


(Reporting by Nilutpal Timsina in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill and Christian Schmollinger)