NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Although financials have led the market higher for most of 2013, they have underperformed the broader market over the past month.

TheStreet's Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link, co-managers of Cramer's charitable trust, Action Alerts Plus, said financials have been lagging due to concerns over loan growth and loan demand. Cramer pointed out that some of the big banks will make a fortune should interest rates go higher.

However, it's a very thin line, he added. While banks should benefit from higher interest rates, as JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon has said, it could crimp a bank's mortgage business such as Wells Fargo's ( WFC). Both JPM and WFC are trust holdings.

Cramer added that while banks are on the cusp of achieving solid net interest margins, some hesitation still remains.

Link noted that the trust trimmed some of its exposure in Wells Fargo since it swelled into too big of a position and moved money into another holding, American International Group ( AIG).

The company has three main catalysts to push shares higher, she said: Strong cash flow, an excellent CEO in turnaround situations, and a potential $5 billion sale of International Lease Finance to a Chinese consortium.

Cramer added that for regional banks to do better, a slow and moderate rise in interest rates would be best, but warned too high of a rise too fast would hurt their mortgage business.

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.

Bret Kenwell currently writes, blogs and also contributes to Robert Weinstein's Weekly Options Newsletter. Focuses on short-to-intermediate-term trading opportunities that can be exposed via options. He prefers to use debit trades on momentum setups and credit trades on support/resistance setups. He also focuses on building long-term wealth by searching for consistent, quality dividend paying companies and long-term growth companies. He considers himself the surfer, not the wave, in relation to the market and himself. He has no allegiance to either the bull side or the bear side.

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