By MICHELLE CHAPMAN
AP Business Writer
Anxiety over the potential for a rush of withdrawals by customers of regional banks continues to roil the financial sector with PacWest Bancorp attempting to calm investors overnight as its shares plunging more than 39%.
PacWest said early Thursday that it is exploring asset sales and has been approached by several parties about a deal and that talks are ongoing. The bank insisted that it has not experienced high numbers of customer withdrawals in the wake of the failure and sale of First Republic Bank after a modern day bank run.
The anxiety over stability and the potential for contagion wracked other regional banks early Thursday.
Zions Bancorp slumped more than 11%, Comerica fell more than 8%, and KeyCorp fell more than 7%.
TD Bank Group and First Horizon Corp. on Thursday said they’ve called off a planned merger, citing regulatory hurdles. Toronto-Dominion Bank said in February that it was buying regional bank First Horizon in a $13.4 billion all-cash deal.
The deal faced greater scrutiny given recent events in the banking system, and TD Bank has sizeable operations in the U.S.
Shares of First Horizon plunged more than 42% before the opening bell Thursday.
A number of banks have been knocked off balance by recent actions by the Federal Reserve in its fight against inflation. The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised its key interest rate by a quarter-point to the highest level in 16 years as part of that campaign, its tenth consecutive rate hike.
Chair Jerome Powell said the Fed would monitor several factors, including the turmoil in the banking sector.
The Fed chair stressed his belief that the collapse of three large banks in the past six weeks will likely cause other banks to tighten lending, and that would help the Fed in its inflation fight.
“Banks have weathered a tumultuous environment for the past two months and uncertainty lingers in the smaller regional bank segment,” JPMorgan told clients.
The firm anticipates bank stocks continuing to be pressured due to regulatory and economic uncertainty, among other factors.
“Regulatory concerns primarily would translate into how much banks need to add to capital, liquidity, and debt, all of which would strengthen them longer term but hurt EPS,” it said.