This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

7 Reasons Bank Stocks May Keep Falling

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It appears that several factors are still not priced into the market. Continued downward pressure on financial stocks could be expected as events unfold, especially the potentially disruptive forces that Europe may unleash, or the conclusion that the foreclosure and mortgage lawsuits are larger and more significant than currently believed.

Here are the top seven reasons bank stocks may keep falling.

Occupy Wall Street. Although not a cohesive movement, at least part of its birth can be traced to outsized Wall Street salaries and bonuses, especially since the taxpayer saved most of the Too Big to Fail (TBTF) banks.

Bank Transfer Day (Nov. 5), the day on which Americans are supposed to transfer their deposits to community banks, is more symbolic than real, as the TBTF banks' core consumer deposits are only a small portion of their liabilities and can easily be replaced with no or low-cost funding from the Fed or elsewhere. Nevertheless, Bank Transfer Day is a PR issue for the large banks.

Margin Squeeze. TBTF have used the arbitrage spread between borrowing costs (near 0%) and Treasury yields (2%+) to profit. And, the purchase of Treasury securities requires no capital under the capital regulations, as Treasuries are "risk free." The Fed's new policy of "Operation Twist" targets longer term interest rates and squeezes this arbitrage spread.

Volcker Rule This has recently been put out for comment by the FDIC. It severely limits trading profits made for the bank's own account and is likely to have a big impact on TBTF trading profits going forward.

Debit Card Monthly Fees. Although such fees are a direct consequence of the limitation on debit swipe fees by the Fed under Dodd-Frank, and it was common knowledge that the TBTF banks would find a way to increase fees elsewhere to make up for their losses on the swipe fees, the timing has turned out to be lousy and the TBTF banks are taking a PR hit, and even from the sponsors of Dodd-Frank who clearly knew that there would be unintended consequences.

Exposure to Europe. According to Michelle Bachmann, the U.S. TBTF Banks have a $700 billion exposure to European Banks. So, a freezing up of liquidity flows to those institutions may have an impact on the value of such holdings. It is clear that the Fed and the European Central Bank will intervene with massive liquidity injections if such events unfold. Nevertheless, the risk of such a freez- up exists. Furthermore, if contagion spreads because of a Greek default, there is no doubt that the TBTF equities will be negatively impacted. So far, we have seen the equity prices of these behemoths ebb and flow with the news (or hope) out of Europe regarding their evolving "rescue" plan.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,279.74 +13.75 0.08%
S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.96 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,579.7890 -13.6380 -0.30%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs