Trading halted in shares of two more US lenders as fears of banking crisis mount

Trading in the shares of two more regional US lenders was temporarily suspended on Thursday amid a widening crisis for the country’s mid-sized banks.

Regulators stepped in to halt trading in the Los Angeles-based PacWest and Arizona’s Western Alliance following dramatic drops in their share prices.

It came after another mid-sized bank, First Republic, was sold to JP Morgan earlier this week. Depositors had pulled $100bn from First Republic, fearing their money was no longer safe.

PacWest had sought to calm markets on Wednesday and said it was in talks with several potential investors after its shares fell by as much as 60%. But the sell-off continued on Thursday and affected other regional banks.