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Regions Financial: Bank Stock Winner Again

Stocks in this article: BAC C JPM WFC RF COF MS I:BKX

For Bank of America (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WFC), the surcharge is 1%, for fully phased-in Basel III Tier 1 common equity ratio requirements of 8% for each company.

Senators Brown and Vitter said that under their proposal, "regulators would walk away from Basel III, and institute new capital rules that don't rely on risk weights and are simple, easy to understand, and easy to comply with." They also said in their press release that the biggest banks "will be faced with a clear choice: either become smaller or raise enough equity to ensure they can weather the next crisis without a bailout."

In a report early this month, Rafferty Capital analyst Richard Bove called a draft version of the Brown/Vitter bill "anti-American legislation" that was based on a "total lack of understanding of banking."

"The immediate effect of this bill will be to force American banks to shrink reducing the lending they provide to the United States economy," Bove wrote, adding that "the second impact of this bill will be to allow Chinese banks to increase the dominant positions they are building in the global financial system.

"This bill will be of significant assistance to the Chinese in their attempt to push American banks aside and at the same time replace the dollar with the yuan as the global reserve currency. The bill is so anti-American as to have one think it was being written by the Chinese rather than any American legislator," Bove wrote.

Four Bank Stock Picks from Oppenheimer

In a report on large commercial banks late on Tuesday, Oppenheimer analyst Chris Kotowski said that "operating returns are still sub-par" for the banking industry, but also offered hope for a continued recovery for bank stock prices, since "it is rising returns rather than high returns that drive bank stocks."

When credit quality is "good and stable," banks can improve their earnings performance "by pulling on some combination of four key levers: pricing, underwriting standards, delivery costs and equity returns," Kotowski wrote. He added that "banks have been pulling the pricing and underwriting levers aggressively since the financial crisis hit, resulting in flattish loan volumes and flattish net interest income and low and still declining net charge-offs ."

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