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Fulton buys failed Philly bank

Fulton Bank was on the receiving end on the afternoon of April 26 when state regulators shut down and brokered a sale of Republic First Bank, a troubled Philadelphia-based lender that does business as Republic Bank

As a result, Fulton has acquired most of the assets and branches of Republic First, expanding the Lancaster bank’s footprint in the competitive Philadelphia market and into New York City.

Fulton, the chief banking subsidiary of Fulton Financial, is adding assets of roughly $6 billion, about $4 billion in deposits, and a network of 32 branches in southeast Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and New York.

“With this transaction, we are excited to double our presence across the region,” Fulton chairman and CEO Curt Myers said in a statement.

Terms of the transaction, which closed on Friday, were not disclosed.

Republic First branches began switching to Fulton over the weekend, with a promise of no interruption in service for Republic First customers.

How is this happening: The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities seized Republic on Friday, citing “unsafe and unsound” conditions and a desire to protect depositors.

Amid financial losses, Republic First had been restructuring operations over the last year and seeking new investors.

It quit the mortgage-origination business last spring, for example, and streamlined its commercial lending business in New York.

Last fall, Republic struck a tentative deal with a group of investors led by New Jersey business leaders George Norcross and Philip Norcross and former TD Bank CEO Greg Braca.

But the deal, under which the group would have sunk at least $35 million into the bank, came apart in late February.

The bank is the first to fail in the U.S. this year (and it is different from San Francisco-based First Republic Bank, a larger institution that failed in early 2023).

Republic First’s failure is expected to cost a federal insurance fund for bank deposits $667 million, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The background: For Fulton, the acquisition adds to a growing presence in Philadelphia, a market dominated by Bank of AmericaCitizens BankPNC Bank, TD Bank and Wells Fargo.

In 2022, Fulton purchased Prudential Bank in a deal valued at around $142 million, building on Fulton’s organic growth in and around the city.

Fulton has more than 200 branches overall in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia.

As part of its acquisition of Republic First, Fulton is making a $5 million donation to the Fulton Forward Foundation, a philanthropic initiative of the bank.

The way-back background: Republic First tried unsuccessfully to buy Harrisburg-based Metro Bank in the wake of the Great Recession in the late 2000s.

Metro, formerly Commerce Bank/Harrisburg, was eventually sold to Pittsburgh-based F.N.B. Corp.

Fulton Bank was on the receiving end on the afternoon of April 26 when state regulators shut down and brokered a sale of Republic First Bank, a troubled Philadelphia-based lender that does business as Republic Bank

As a result, Fulton has acquired most of the assets and branches of Republic First, expanding the Lancaster bank’s footprint in the competitive Philadelphia market and into New York City.

Fulton, the chief banking subsidiary of Fulton Financial, is adding assets of roughly $6 billion, about $4 billion in deposits, and a network of 32 branches in southeast Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and New York.

“With this transaction, we are excited to double our presence across the region,” Fulton chairman and CEO Curt Myers said in a statement.

Terms of the transaction, which closed on Friday, were not disclosed.

Republic First branches began switching to Fulton over the weekend, with a promise of no interruption in service for Republic First customers.

How is this happening: The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities seized Republic on Friday, citing “unsafe and unsound” conditions and a desire to protect depositors.

Amid financial losses, Republic First had been restructuring operations over the last year and seeking new investors.

It quit the mortgage-origination business last spring, for example, and streamlined its commercial lending business in New York.

Last fall, Republic struck a tentative deal with a group of investors led by New Jersey business leaders George Norcross and Philip Norcross and former TD Bank CEO Greg Braca.

But the deal, under which the group would have sunk at least $35 million into the bank, came apart in late February.

The bank is the first to fail in the U.S. this year (and it is different from San Francisco-based First Republic Bank, a larger institution that failed in early 2023).

Republic First’s failure is expected to cost a federal insurance fund for bank deposits $667 million, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The background: For Fulton, the acquisition adds to a growing presence in Philadelphia, a market dominated by Bank of AmericaCitizens BankPNC Bank, TD Bank and Wells Fargo.

In 2022, Fulton purchased Prudential Bank in a deal valued at around $142 million, building on Fulton’s organic growth in and around the city.

Fulton has more than 200 branches overall in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia.

As part of its acquisition of Republic First, Fulton is making a $5 million donation to the Fulton Forward Foundation, a philanthropic initiative of the bank.

The way-back background: Republic First tried unsuccessfully to buy Harrisburg-based Metro Bank in the wake of the Great Recession in the late 2000s.

Metro, formerly Commerce Bank/Harrisburg, was eventually sold to Pittsburgh-based F.N.B. Corp.

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