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5 Super Regional Banks on the Rise

Stocks in this article: BAC JPM BBT COF CMA FNFG PNC

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Super regional banks are in the sweet spot.

These mid-sized banks that tend to be distinguished by their large geographical presence, are growing bigger, gaining market share as the large money-center banks, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC) scale back branch expansion plans.

And while too-big-to-fail banks are steering clear of acquisitions, banks such as BB&T (BBT) and PNC Financial (PNC) have been aggressive in the M&A space.

Meanwhile, unlike their smaller rivals, these banks have healthy balance sheets and fewer problem loans. They are also not significantly exposed to European debt and capital market activity, both of which are punishing the nation's biggest players.

None of these banks figure in the list of too-big-to-fail banks, which means they won't have to build additional capital buffers beyond those stipulated by Basel 3.

Shares of many of the super regionals have held up relatively well in the recent financial market carnage. According to a Deutsche Bank report, these banks saw the strongest growth in commercial and industrial loans and service charges in the third quarter.

While analysts have lowered their estimates for 2012 across the banking sector in light of the weakened macroeconomic outlook, they have reduced estimates the least for super-regionals, according to Deutsche, suggesting that the outlook remains robust.

TheStreet takes a look at five super regional banks that are on the rise, thanks to acquisitions. The banks are listed in alphabetical order.

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