SOURCE: Five Star Equities

Five Star Equities

June 28, 2012 08:20 ET

Regional Banks Take Advantage of Shrinking Loan Totals From the "Big Banks"

Five Star Equities Provides Stock Research on Fifth Third Bancorp and KeyCorp

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jun 28, 2012) - Despite the recent slowdown in the global economy, bank stocks have performed admirably in 2012. The SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE) and the SPDR KBW Regional Banking ETF (KRE) are both up over 7 percent year-to-date. Collectively U.S. banks have posted their strongest first quarter in 5 years with a profit of $35.3 billion. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Regional Banking Industry and provides equity research on Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB) and KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY).

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Regional banks have taken advantage of the "big banks" shrinking loans. Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. have seen their loan totals drop 4.9 percent in the first quarter of 2012, when compared to the first quarter of 2010 according to date collected from Bloomberg. While the "big banks" are trimming loans regional banks have stepped in, as 17 of the smallest banks in the 24 bank KBW Bank Index (BKX) saw lending totals increase 9.8 percent to $1.3 trillion over the same two-year period.

"It's the health of the banking system and the banks' ability and willingness to extend credit that's at the heart of any recovery," David Jones, a former economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said in an interview. "If anything helps in getting this recovery going, it'll be those regional banks."

Five Star Equities releases regular market updates on the Regional Banking Industry so investors can stay ahead of the crowd and make the best investment decisions to maximize their returns. Take a few minutes to register with us free at and get exclusive access to our numerous stock reports and industry newsletters.

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. As of March 31, 2012, the Company had $117 billion in assets. According to Bloomberg Fifth Third's mortgage loans portfolio totaled $12.5 billion the first quarter, a 36 percent increase over first quarter 2010.

KeyBank is on track to acquire 37 retail banking branches owned by HSBC Bank NA, in Buffalo and Rochester, NY. The closing is expected to occur on July 13, 2012, with KeyBank acquiring 26 branches in the Buffalo area and 11 in and around Rochester, bringing to 99 the total number of KeyBank branches in those markets. The acquisition will add approximately $2.4 billion in deposits and $400 million in loans.

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