(Bloomberg) -- Western Alliance Bancorp denied a report that it’s exploring strategic options including a possible sale of all or part of its business.

“This story is absolutely false, there is no truth to this,” Stephanie Whitlow, Western Alliance’s chief marketing officer, said in an email.

The Financial Times reported Thursday that the Phoenix-based company has hired advisers to explore its options, citing two people familiar with the matter, adding that the bank’s deliberations were at an early stage and might not come to anything.

In a statement later in the morning, Western Alliance said it’s not exploring a sale nor has it hired an adviser to explore strategic options. The story “is categorically false in all respects. There is not a single element of the article that is true,” Western Alliance said, adding that it’s “considering all of our legal options in response to the story.”

Representatives for the Financial Times didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Shares of the bank, which lost 50% this year through Wednesday, continued to slide Thursday. The stock was down as much as 62% after the Financial Times report before paring the decline after Western Alliance denied the talks, with trading halted multiple times throughout the morning.

Western Alliance had earlier sought to reassure investors amid ongoing tumult in the US regional-banking sector, saying its deposit levels have started climbing in recent weeks.

“The bank has not experienced unusual deposit flows following the sale of First Republic Bank and other recent industry news,” Western Alliance said in a statement late Wednesday. 

First Republic was taken over by JPMorgan Chase & Co. earlier this week in an emergency acquisition engineered by federal regulators. It was the second-largest US bank failure ever. But resolution of First Republic’s plight failed to calm investors concerned that tumult triggered by rising interest rates and stress in the commercial real estate sector will find more victims. 

Western Alliance, led by Chief Executive Officer Kenneth A. Vecchione, has repeatedly sought to reassure investors about its financial strength. The bank issued two public updates in March and another in early April.

In the statement Wednesday, Western Alliance said total deposits were $48.8 billion as of Tuesday, up from $48.2 billion on Monday and unchanged from Friday. The bank also reaffirmed its guidance for $2 billion in quarter-over-quarter deposit growth.

The decline followed a similar plunge at PacWest Bancorp, which sank earlier this week after Bloomberg News reported that the bank was considering a range of options, including a sale. PacWest confirmed on Wednesday it’s in talks with several potential investors.

(Updates with Western Alliance comment in fourth paragraph.)

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