SOURCE: Paragon Financial Limited

Paragon Financial Limited

August 27, 2012 08:20 ET

Lending From U.S. Banks at the Highest Levels Since the End of the Recession

The Paragon Report Provides Stock Research on Hudson City Bancorp and PNC Financial Services

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Aug 27, 2012) - Regional Banking stocks have been some of the strongest performers on the markets despite facing a slowing global economy. The SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (KRE) is up roughly 14 percent in 2012 as investor optimism continues to improve within the sector. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Banking Industry and provides equity research on Hudson City Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: HCBK) and PNC Financial Services (NYSE: PNC).

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Results from a Federal Reserve survey, released earlier this month, have shown that U.S. banks have relaxed their lending standards on credit cards and lending for autos and commercial real estate in the second quarter. Despite facing an economy bearing unemployment rate of 8.3 percent, lending from U.S. banks are at the highest levels since the end of the recession.

While foreign bank branches have tightened their lending standards, "Domestic banks reported that their business had increased due to decreased competition from European banks and that they remain willing to accommodate additional such business," the Fed said.

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With over $40 billion in assets, Hudson City is the largest thrift institution headquartered in New Jersey. They currently operate a total of 135 branches located in 10 of the top 50 U.S. counties rated by median household income. The Company reported net income of $72.3 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2012 as compared to net income of $96.0 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2011.

The PNC Financial Services Group reported net income of $546 million, or $.98 per diluted common share, for the second quarter of 2012. Net income for the first quarter of 2012 was $811 million, or $1.44 per diluted common share. Shares of the company are up nearly 8 percent for the year.

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