The recent sharp decline in shares of major U.S. regional banks has sparked fears of another banking crisis. The collapse of First Republic Bank, the largest U.S. bank failure since 2008, has sent shockwaves through the financial sector, prompting experts to warn that a “confidence crisis” could happen to any bank in the country.
Investors have reacted quickly to the news, with shares of PacWest Bancorp, Western Alliance Bank, and KeyCorp plummeting by as much as 30%, 21%, and 10%, respectively. The KBW Regional Banking Index has also taken a hit, falling by 5.2% and its lowest since December 2020.
US Banking Industry In Peril, Half Of America’s Banks Nearing Insolvency
Mario Nawfal, a renowned financial expert, has expressed concern over the recent plummeting of bank shares in major U.S. regional banks, signaling a deepening banking crisis in the country.
In the aftermath of the collapse of First Republic Bank, the largest U.S. bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis, shares of PacWest Bancorp, Western Alliance Bank, and KeyCorp fell drastically, with the KBW Regional Banking Index hitting their lowest level since December 2020.
Nawfal warns that if a confidence crisis can happen to the First Republic, it can happen to any bank in the country. He attributes the current state of the US banking industry to “insatiable greed and reckless” money printing, which have had dire consequences. The collapse of First Republic Bank is just the tip of the iceberg, and things could get much worse if the Federal Reserve doesn’t pivot, Nawfal claimed.
The implications of JPMorgan being the government’s first line of defense in a banking crisis are also a cause of concern for analysts from Evercore ISI, a global independent investment banking advisory firm. Nawfal further stated that the US banking industry is in peril, and urgent measures must be taken to prevent a complete collapse.
Major US Banks Experience Significant Share Price Falls, Halting Trading
PacWest Bancorp and Western Alliance Bancorp, two major players in the US banking industry, have halted trading in their equities after experiencing significant share price falls of 24% and 20%, respectively.
This follows the recent sale of First Republic Bank to JPMorgan, which occurred after the US regulator, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), took control of the struggling San Francisco-based lender. First Republic Bank’s share price had collapsed by a staggering 97% this year following the crisis of confidence triggered by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in March.
According to a report by The Telegraph, First Republic Bank’s deposits plunged by $100 billion in the first quarter of the year, highlighting the severity of the crisis. The sale of the bank to JPMorgan indicates the dire state of the US banking industry and the need for urgent action to prevent a complete collapse.
Furthermore, according to The Telegraph, The US Federal Reserve has begun a two-day meeting to determine whether it should raise its benchmark lending rate for the tenth time. Since March last year, the Fed has aggressively increased interest rates to combat high inflation, which remains above its long-term target of two percent.
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is widely expected to raise its base rate by a quarter-point on Wednesday, bringing the interest rate to between 5 and 5.25%, the highest level since the global financial crisis.
The situation is not just concerning for investors but also the wider US economy. The banking industry plays a critical role in the economy, and a collapse could have severe repercussions, including a credit crunch and a recession.
Featured image from Unsplash, chart from TradingView.com