NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Dismal trading and investment banking results, falling net interest margins and outsized accounting gains at the large, money-center banks- Bank of America (BAC - Get Report), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C - Get Report)- have grabbed the headlines in this quarter's earnings season.
However, there were some bright spots in the earnings reported so far, loan growth being the most significant of them.
According to FBR Capital, of the 24 banks under their coverage, the median loan growth was 1.2% in the third quarter compared to a 0.5% decline in the first quarter of 2011 and 0.7% growth in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Regional banks, which do not have to suffer the volatility of capital markets, have outperformed on revenues. Some have seen double-digit growth on the back of higher loans and acquisitions. Others have been able to stave off margin pressure by still lowering costs of funding.Many of them also appear well poised to benefit from increased refinancing activity in the fourth quarter of 2011. Banks continued to experience improved credit quality, although at a lower pace, with some of the smaller banks continuing to reduce their reserves for bad loans, called "reserve release". Because reserve releases can distort the earnings picture, SNL Financial looks at a more useful indicator called pre-provision net revenue, defined as a bank's tax-adjusted net interest income plus its non-interest income, net of non-credit-related expenses. TheStreet came up with a list of five banks that posted double-digit growth in pre-provision net revenue using data from SNL Financial. Only banks that reported data through last Friday, October 21 were considered. Here are five regional banks that posted double-digit revenue growth in the third quarter.