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Cramer's Top Regional Bank Picks

Stocks in this article: STI HBAN RF KEY

NEW YORK ( TheStreet --

Debra Borchardt:

A judge has dismissed anti-trust claims against the banks with regards to Libor. Jim, this effects 16 some odd banks saying that Libor does not harm competition. It's a cooperative endeavor and can't be viewed as competitive. So, this is clearly a positive for the banks because that was a little bit scary that anyone under the sun could sue them for Libor.

Jim Cramer:

Well, they've won one. Now the banks have spent over a hundred billion dollars in fines, gigantic line item is how much they are spending on lawyers.

Debra Borchardt:

The lawyers are at least 500 dollars an hour if not 600 dollars an hour.

Jim Cramer:

Oh yeah. Some of them a thousand dollars and there is what I regard as just the cloud continues. Like if you try to figure out why Bank of America (BAC) had a really good year last year, why Bank of America seems to be stalled at 12, they're not done. They still have a lot of lawsuits.

Debra Borchardt:

You bring up a good point because I was looking at the chart for the financial ETF, the XLF. It's on a continuous up trend.

Jim Cramer:

Right. But it's one foot forward on bad loans going away, one foot backward, or let's say three-quarters-of-step-backward on litigation and then another step forward on the idea that the economy might be growing, and then another step backward on the idea that the yield curve is not that good. So it's been a very difficult group to invest in. We like very much SunTrust (STI), which hasn't kept pace and that's because they failed the initial test and we like Key (KEY), which a lot of people don't like because they just don't think it has any forward momentum. I think both of them are real buys here.

Debra Borchardt:

And those are the smaller banks, the more regional ones.

Jim Cramer:

Yeah. Huntington Bank (HBAN) is very, very good. Regions (RF), which I haven't liked for a long time I think is a very strong situation. I think that all of these have commercial real estate just about to occur. First Horizon (FHN) had been a stock that was eight, nine. Suddenly, it's at 11 dollars. That's a terrific one, too. That's where you should be looking.

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