The Bank Slate


Fulton Bank buys Republic First after Philadelphia bank’s failure

Republic First Bank in Philadelphia was closed by regulators, ending a lengthy saga that included an ousted CEO, shareholder fights and a failed attempt to raise capital.

Fulton Bank in Lancaster, Pa., agreed to assume substantially all of Republic First’s $6 billion of assets and $4 billion of deposits, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., said in a press release.

Republic First’s 32 branches in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, will reopen as Fulton locations.

Fulton said in a press release that the deal should be 20% accretive to its 2024 earnings per share. It should take 15 months for Fulton to earn back an estimated 4% dilution to its tangible book value.

The company expects to incur $30 million of pretax merger-related charges. Fulton plans to cut about 40% of Republic First’s annual noninterest expenses, or roughly $60 million.

Republic First Bancshares had struggled with infighting since 2021. Vernon Hill was eventually ousted as CEO. Then an investor group attempted to take over the company. A protracted battle took months; and efforts to raise money fell through when the parties couldn’t reach an accord.

The FDIC estimated that the failure will cost the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) about $667 million.

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