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NYCB stock tumbles to lowest level since 1996

Steven Mnuchin's private equity firm made a $450 million investment in New York Community Bank last week. Mnuchin now sits on the bank's board. - Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Shares of New York Community Bank (NYCB) fell 23% Monday, hitting their lowest level since 1996.

The stock is struggling to recover after the beleaguered regional lender said in a filing last week it had identified “material weakness” in the company’s controls. The issues caused a $2.4 billion loss to shareholders last quarter, NYCB said.

Shares of NYCB slid more than 25% on Friday, a day after the company disclosed the new developments, including a major leadership shakeup resulting in Alessandro DiNello, its recently appointed executive chairman, becoming the new president and CEO.

The stock was further pressured Friday evening after Fitch Ratings downgraded the quality of NYCB’s debt to junk status and Moody’s Investors Service lowered its rating further into junk territory.

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Last week, the Long Island-based bank announced it delayed the release of its required annual financial disclosure, known as a 10-K, to focus on addressing the issues it identified. The bank said it now expects to file its 10-K by March 15. Unless the company provides an additional update, the 10-K will be the latest source of information on whether depositors are withdrawing their funds. The delay draws eerie parallels to First Republic Bank, which postponed reporting its quarterly earnings shortly before it failed last year.

The bank’s latest troubles come just one month after NYCB reported it would slash dividends after reporting a surprise loss of $252 million last quarter, compared to a $172 million profit in the fourth quarter of 2022. That caused the stock to plunge, bringing it to its lowest level since 1997.

Amid the selloff, the company sought to reassure depositors and investors by notifying them that deposits were stable and had even increased slightly in the last quarter of 2023.

Last week’s updates invite new questions regarding the strength of the bank. The problems management identified had to do with “internal loan review, resulting from ineffective oversight, risk assessment and monitoring activities.”

Such language mirrors post-mortem reports of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank — both failed a year ago.

Year to date, shares of NYCB are down over 70%.

NYCB’s troubles are having a mixed effect on other regional bank stocks.

Shares of Valley National Bank (VLY) closed 5.6% lower on Monday, while Zions Bancorporation (ZION) closed 1% higher. The KBW Regional Banking Index closed 0.7% lower for the day.

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