Bank of America
is looking to sell First Republic Bank, a private bank it inherited from
, as BofA tries to preserve capital and possibly shed noncore assets, the
Wall Street Journal
reports, citing people familiar with the situation.
First Republic was purchased by Merrill for $1.8 billion in September 2007. It's been run as a standalone unit with its own brand name and management, the
The newspaper says questions about First Republic's future have swirled ever since Bank of America agreed in September to buy Merrill. Bank of America already has a wealth-management business, U.S. Trust, which was acquired from
At the time Merrill purchased the bank, First Republic, with operations across the U.S., had $10 billion of deposits.
Possible buyers of First Republic include
, according to the
. Those two companies are trying to expand their deposit-gathering businesses as part of their recent conversion to bank-holding companies. Goldman and Morgan Stanley declined to comment for the
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.