Market Commentary

Regional Banks Slump Extends As Investors Lose Confidence

Raza Akram · 1 minute read

Western Alliance (WAL:US) and PacWest (PACW:US), two regional U.S. banks, saw their shares fall sharply on Thursday despite both companies releasing an update to reassure investors about their financial health.

PacWest, a commercial bank with over $41 billion in assets, said that core customer deposits have increased since March 31, with total deposits totaling $28 billion as of May 2. 

Shares fell sharply on Wednesday after-hours trading after Bloomberg News reported that the bank is considering a sale.

“In accordance with normal practices the Company and its Board of Directors continuously review strategic options. Recently, the Company has been approached by several potential partners and investors - discussions are ongoing. The company will continue to evaluate all options to maximize shareholder value,” the bank said.

Similarly, Western said its deposit activity has been stable recently. The Bank has not experienced unusual deposit flows since the collapse of First Republic Bank (FRC:US), with total deposits standing at $48.8 billion, up from $48.2 billion as of Monday, May 1.

First Horizon (FHN:US) tumbled nearly 36% on Thursday after TD Bank terminated the merger agreement. 

"Because there is uncertainty as to when and if these regulatory approvals can be obtained, the parties mutually agreed to terminate the merger agreement," the statement said.

Congressman Daniel Goldman reported two trades involving the shares of PacWest and Western Alliance that occurred in March. The Congressman was selling shares of these two banks at levels significantly above Thursday’s prices.