10 Best Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now

Wal-Mart is feeling the pinch from the government shutdown.

That domestic crisis and a “tough and unpredictable global economy” has affected the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. CEO and president Mike Duke told investors and analysts at a meeting in Arkansas Tuesday.

“It should come as no surprise that the government shutdown is on the minds of our U.S. customers,” Duke said, according to prepared remarks that he was to deliver at the investor conference. “As you would expect, we’re following the situation very closely. The competition is also tough. I see it when I am out visiting their stores. And of course, the holidays are right around the corner — raising the stakes even further on serving customers and delivering on performance.”

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., President and CEO Mike Duke speaks Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the company’s 20th Annual Meeting for the Investment Community in Rogers, Ark.(Photo: Photo: Courtesy of Wal-Mart)

10 Best Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: Barclays PLC (GRN)

Barclays PLC (Barclays) is a global financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, wholesale banking, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services. The Company’s operations include its overseas offices, subsidiaries and associates. The Company operates in eight segments: UK Retail and Business Banking (UK RBB), Europe Retail and Business Banking (Europe RBB), Africa Retail and Business Banking (Africa RBB), Barclaycard, Barclays Investment Bank, Barclays Corporate Banking, Wealth and Investment Management, and Head Office and Other Operations. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool’s free investing community, the iPath Global Carbon ETN (NYSEMKT: GRN  ) has received the dreaded one-star ranking.

  • [By Todd Shriber, ETF Professor]

    Big losers (down at least 5%): Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bear 3X Shares (NYSE: DUST), iPath Global Carbon ETN (NYSE: GRN), iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Value ETF (NYSE: EVAL) and the PureFunds ISE Mining Service ETF (NYSE: MSXX).

  • [By Todd Shriber, ETF Professor]

    Big winners (up at least 5%): VelocityShares 3x Inverse Natural Gas ETN (NYSE: DGAZ), iPath Global Carbon ETN (NYSE: GRN), ProShares UltraShort DJ-UBS Natural Gas (NYSE: KOLD) and the ProShares MSCI UltraShort Mexico (NYSE: SMK).

10 Best Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC)

HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC), incorporated on January 1, 1959, is a global banking and financial services organizations. As of December 31, 2010, it provided a range of financial services to around 95 million customers through two customer groups, Personal Financial Services (PFS), including consumer finance, and Commercial Banking (CMB), and two global businesses, Global Banking and Markets (GB&M), and Global Private Banking (GPB). Its international network covers 87 countries and territories in six geographical regions; Europe, Hong Kong, Rest of Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, North America and Latin America. As of December 31, 2010, the Company had an international network of some 7,500 offices in 87 countries and territories in six geographical regions; Europe, Hong Kong, Rest of Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, North America and Latin America. PFS incorporates the Company’s consumer finance businesses, which include HSBC Finance Corporation (HSBC Finance). In April 2011, the Company closed its retail banking operation in Russia. In July 2011, the Company sold its unsecured written-off personal loan and credit card portfolio to J M Financial Asset Reconstruction Co. Pvt. Ltd. On May 20, 2012, HSBC Holdings PLC’s wholly owned subsidiary HSBC Bank USA, N.A. and other wholly owned subsidiaries, sold 195 retail branches to First Niagara Bank, N.A. (First Niagara). In May 2012, the Company’s 70.03% owned subsidiary, HSBC Bank Malta plc, sold its card acquiring business to HSBC Merchant Services Ltd. In June 2012, the Company’s indirect wholly owned subsidiary, HSBC Iris Investments (Mauritius) Ltd, sold its 4.73% interest in Axis Bank Limited and 4.74% interest in Yes Bank Limited. In July 2012, its subsidiary, HSBC Europe (Netherlands B.V.), sold its 100% interest in HSBC Credit Zrt, to CentralFund Kockazati Tokealap. On March 31, 2013, Enstar Group Ltd’s subsidiary completed the acquisition from Household Insurance Group Holding Company of HSBC Insurance Company of Delaware and Household Life Insur! ance Company of Delaware, as well as its three subsidiary insurers.

The Company’s principal banking operations in Europe are HSBC Bank plc in the United Kingdom, HSBC France, HSBC Bank A.S. in Turkey, HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c., HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) S.A. and HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG. Through these operations it provides a range of banking, treasury and financial services to personal, commercial and corporate customers across Europe. HSBC’s banking subsidiaries in Hong Kong are The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited and Hang Seng Bank Limited.

The Company offers a range of banking and financial services in the People’s Republic of China, mainly through its local subsidiary, HSBC Bank (China) Company Limited. It also participates indirectly in the People’s Republic of China through its four associates. Outside Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China, it conducts business in 22 countries and territories in the Rest of Asia-Pacific region, through branches and subsidiaries of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, with coverage in Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

In the Middle East, the Company has network of branches of HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, together with HSBC’s subsidiaries and associates. Its North American businesses are located in the United States, Canada and Bermuda. Operations in the United States are conducted through HSBC Bank USA, N.A., which is concentrated in New York State, and HSBC Finance, a national consumer finance company based near Chicago. HSBC Markets (USA) Inc. is the intermediate holding company of, inter alia, HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. HSBC Bank Canada and HSBC Bank Bermuda operate in their respective countries.

The Company’s operations in Latin America consists of HSBC Bank Brasil S.A.-Banco Multiplo, HSBC Mexico, S.A., HSBC Bank Argentina S.A. and HSBC Bank (Panama) S.A. In addition to bankin g services, it operates insurance businesses in Brazil, Mexi! co, Argen! tina, Panama and a range of smaller markets.

Personal Financial Services

PFS offers the Company’s products and services to customers based on their individual needs. Premier and Advance services are for customers who value international connectivity and benefit from its global reach and scale. It offers a range of banking products and services reflecting local requirements. In addition, it issues card globally, offering HSBC branded cards, co-branded cards with selected partners and private label (store) cards. Its customer offerings include personal banking products, including current and savings accounts, mortgages and personal loans, credit cards, debit cards and local and international payment services, and wealth management services, including insurance and investment products and financial planning services.

HSBC Premier provides preferential banking services to high net worth customers and their immediate families with a rela tionship manager, wealth advice and solutions. Customers can access emergency travel assistance, telephone banking and an online global view of their Premier accounts globally with free money transfers between them. HSBC Advance provides a range of preferential products and services customized to meet local needs. With a telephone service, access to wealth advice and online tools to support financial planning, it gives customers an online global view of their Advance accounts with money transfers between them. Wealth Solutions & Financial Planning process designed for global individual customer needs to help its clients to protect, grow and manage their wealth through investment and wealth insurance products manufactured by in-house partners, including Global Asset Management, Global Markets and HSBC Insurance, and by selected third party providers. During 2010, PFS provided 92 million individual and self-employed customers with financial services in over 60 markets globally .

Commercial Banking

The Company ! segments ! its CMB business into Corporate, to serve both Corporate and Mid-Market companies, and Business Banking, to serve the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) sector. It provides support to companies as they expand both domestically and internationally, and ensures a focus on the business banking segments. It offers a range of financing, both domestic and cross-border, including overdrafts, receivables finance, term loans and syndicated, leveraged, acquisition and project finance. Asset finance is offered in selected sites, focused on leasing and instalment finance for vehicles, plant and equipment. It is a provider of domestic and cross-border payments and collections, liquidity management and account services globally, delivered through its e-platform, HSBC net. It provides international trade products and services, to both buyers and suppliers, such as export finance, guarantees, documentary collections and forfeiting to improve efficiency and help mitigate risk throu ghout the supply chain.

CMB customers are volume users of its foreign exchange, derivatives and structured products. Capital markets & advisory is raising capital on debt and equity markets and provide advisory services. Commercial cards issuing helps customers enhance cash management, credit control and purchasing. Card acquiring services enable merchants to accept credit and debit card payments in person or remotely. CMB offers key person, employee benefits and a range of commercial risk insurance, such as property, cargo and trade credit. Direct channels include online and direct banking offerings, such as telephone banking, HSBCnet and Business Internet Banking.

Global Banking and Markets

GB&M provides tailored financial solutions to government, corporate and institutional clients and private investors globally. Managed as a global business, GB&M operates a long-term relationship management approach to build a understanding of clie nts’ financial requirements. Sector-focused client service! teams co! nsisting of relationship managers and product specialists develop financial solutions to meet individual client needs. GB&M is managed as four principal business lines: Global Markets, Global Banking, Global Asset Management and Principal Investments.

Global Markets operations consist of treasury and capital markets services. Products include foreign exchange; currency, interest rate, bond, credit, equity and other derivatives; government and non-government fixed income and money market instruments; precious metals and exchange-traded futures; equity services; distribution of capital markets instruments, and securities services, including custody and clearing services and funds administration to both domestic and cross-border investors. Global Banking offers financing, advisory and transaction services. Its products include capital raising, advisory services, bilateral and syndicated lending, leveraged and acquisition finance, structured and project finance, le ase finance and non-retail deposit taking; international, regional and domestic payments and cash management services; and trade services for large corporate clients.

Global Asset Management offers investment solutions to institutions, financial intermediaries and individual investors globally. Principal Investments includes its relationships with third-party private equity managers and other investments. GB&M is a global business, which provides financial solutions to government, corporate and institutional clients globally.

Global Private Banking

GPB works with the Company’s high net worth clients to offer ways to manage and preserve wealth. HSBC Private Bank is the principal marketing name of its international private banking business, GPB. GPB works with its clients to offer both ways to manage and preserve wealth while optimising returns. GPB accesses six advisory centers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Geneva, New York, Paris and Lon don. Private Banking services consist of multi-currency depo! sit accou! nts and fiduciary deposits, credit and specialist lending, treasury trading services, cash management, securities custody and clearing. GPB works to ensure that its clients have access to other products and services available in HSBC, such as credit cards, Internet banking, corporate banking and investment banking.

Private Wealth Management consists of both advisory and discretionary investment services. A range of investment vehicles is covered, including bonds, equities, derivatives, options, futures, structured products, mutual funds and alternatives (hedge funds, private equity and real estate). Corporate Finance Solutions helps provide clients with solutions for their companies, working in conjunction with GB&M. Private Wealth Solutions consist of planning, trustee and other fiduciary services to protect wealth and preserve it for future generations. Its expertise includes trusts, foundation and company administration, charitable trusts and foundations, in surance, family office advisory and philanthropy.

Other

The Company’s Other contains the results of certain property transactions and unallocated investment activities. It also includes centrally held investment companies, movements in fair value of own debt, HSBC’s holding company and financing operations.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sara Sjolin]

    Banks posted some of the biggest gains in London, with Barclays PLC (UK:BARC)   (BCS)  up 1.6%, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (UK:RBS)   (RBS)  rising 1.1% and sector heavyweight HSBC Holdings PLC (UK:HSBA)   (HBC)   (HK:5)  0.7% higher.

  • [By Sara Sjolin]

    Banks were among major decliners, playing a part in dragging the FTSE 100 index lower. Shares of Barclays PLC (UK:BARC)   (BCS)  fell 2.7%, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (UK:RBS)   (RBS)  dropped 2.9%, Lloyds Banking Group PLC (UK:LLOY)   (LYG)  gave up 2.3% and sector heavyweight HSBC Holdings PLC (UK:HSBA) (HBC)   (HK:5)  erased 1.3%.

  • [By Sara Sjolin]

    Banks led the benchmark lower, with Société Générale SA (FR:GLE)  down 2.1% in Paris, HSBC Holdings PLC (UK:HSBA) (HBC)   (HK:5)  off 1.4% in London, and Banco Santander SA (ES:SAN)   (SAN)  1.6% lower in Madrid.

10 Best Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: Raymond James Financial Inc (RJF)

Raymond James Financial, Inc. (RJF) is a financial services holding company whose subsidiaries are engaged in various financial services businesses predominantly in the United States of America and Canada. At September 30, 2011, its principal subsidiaries include Raymond James & Associates, Inc. (RJ&A), Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (RJFS), Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. (RJFSA), Raymond James Ltd. (RJ Ltd.), Eagle Asset Management, Inc. (Eagle), and Raymond James Bank, FSB (RJ Bank). All of these subsidiaries are wholly owned by RJF. In April 1, 2011, the Company acquired Howe Barnes Hoefer & Arnett (Howe Barnes). The Company operates through eight business segments: Private Client Group, Capital Markets, Asset Management, RJ Bank, Emerging Markets, Securities Lending, Proprietary Capital and various corporate activities combined in the Other segment. In April 2012, Regions Financial Corporation sold Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc. and related affi liates to RJF.

PRIVATE CLIENT GROUP

The Company provides securities transaction and financial planning services to approximately two million client accounts through the branch office systems of RJ&A, RJFS, RJFSA, RJ Ltd. and Raymond James Investment Services Limited (RJIS), a joint venture in the United Kingdom. Its financial advisors offer a range of investments and services, including both third-party and products, and a variety of financial planning services. The Company charges sales commissions or asset-based fees for investment services it provides to its Private Client Group clients based on established schedules. Varying discounts may be given, generally based upon the client’s level of business, the trade size, service level provided, and other relevant factors. During the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011 (fiscal 2011), the portion of revenues from this segment that the Company considers recurring include sources, such as asset-based fe es, including mutual fund and annuity trailing commissions, ! and interest income and represented approximately 61% of the Private Client Group’s total revenues. Its financial advisors offer a number of professionally managed load mutual funds, as well as a selection of no-load funds. RJ&A and RJFS maintain dealer sales agreements with distributors of mutual fund shares sold through broker-dealers.

The Company’s principal subsidiary, RJ&A, is the full service brokerage and investment firm headquartered in the state of Florida and with over 220 locations throughout the United States, is a retail brokerage firms in the country. RJ&A is a self-clearing broker-dealer engaged in most aspects of securities distribution, trading, investment banking and asset management. RJ&A also offers financial planning services for individuals and provides clearing services for RJFS, RJFSA, other affiliated entities and several unaffiliated broker-dealers. RJFS is an independent contractor brokerage firms in the United States., is a member o f Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Securities Investors Protection Corporation (SIPC), but is not a member of any exchanges. Financial advisors affiliated with RJFS may offer their clients all products and services offered through RJ&A, including investment advisory products and services which are offered through its affiliated registered investment advisor, RJFSA. RJ Ltd. is its Canadian broker-dealer subsidiary, which is engaged in both retail and institutional distribution and investment banking. RJ Ltd. is a member of the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). Its United States broker-dealer subsidiary is a member of FINRA and SIPC.

CAPITAL MARKETS

Capital Markets activities consist primarily of equity and fixed income products and services. Its institutional clients are serviced by institutional equity departments of RJ&A and RJ Ltd.; the RJ&A fixed income departmen t; RJ&A’s European offices; Raymond James Financial Intern! ational, ! Ltd, an institutional UK broker-dealer, and Raymond James European Securities, Inc., a joint venture, in which the Company hold a controlling interest. The Company charges commissions on equity transactions based on trade size and the amount of business conducted annually with each institution. Fixed income commissions are based on trade size and the characteristics of the specific security. Some European and United States offices also provide services to high net worth clients. RJ Ltd. has approximately 40 institutional equity sales and trading professionals servicing predominantly Canadian, United States and European institutional investors from offices in Canada and Europe.

Trading equity securities involves the purchase and sale of securities from and to its clients or other dealers. RJ&A makes markets in over 900 common stocks. The RJ Ltd. trading desks not only support client activity, but also take positions that are closely monitored within well defined limits. RJ Ltd. also provides specialist services in approximately 150 TSX listed common stocks. RJ&A trades both taxable and tax-exempt fixed income securities. The taxable and tax-exempt RJ&A fixed income traders purchase and sell corporate, municipal, government, government agency, and mortgage-backed bonds, asset-backed securities, preferred stock and certificates of deposit from and to its clients or other dealers.

Fixed income investment banking includes debt underwriting and public finance activities. The syndicate department consists of professionals who coordinate the marketing, distribution, pricing and stabilization of lead and co-managed equity underwritings. In addition to lead and co-managed offerings, this department coordinates the firm’s syndicate and selling group activities in transactions managed by other investment banking firms. Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Inc. (RJTCF) is the general partner or managing member in a number of limited pa rtnerships and limited liability companies. These partnershi! ps and li! mited liability companies invest in real estate project entities that qualify for tax credits under Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code.

ASSET MANAGEMENT

The Company’s Asset Management segment includes the operations of Eagle, the Eagle Family of Funds (Eagle Funds), the asset management operations of RJ&A (AMS), Raymond James Trust, and other fee-based programs. The majority of the revenue for this segment is generated by the investment advisory fees related to asset management services for individual investment portfolios and mutual funds. Investment advisory fees are also earned on assets held in managed and non-managed programs. Eagle Fund Distributors, Inc. (EFD), a wholly owned subsidiary of Eagle, is a registered broker-dealer engaged in the distribution of the Eagle Funds. The Eagle Funds utilize unaffiliated sub-advisors for the Capital Appreciation Fund and International Equity Fund. The Small Cap Growth Fund, Mid Cap Growth Fund, Gr owth and Income Fund, Large Cap Core Fund, Mid Cap Stock Fund, Investment Grade Bond Fund, and Small Cap Core Value Fund are managed by Eagle.

AMS

AMS manages several investment advisory programs which maintain an approved list of investment managers, provide asset allocation model portfolios, establish custodial facilities, monitor performance of client accounts, provide clients with accounting and other administrative services, and assist investment managers with certain trading management activities. In addition, AMS offers additional managed accounts managed within fee based asset allocation platforms under its Freedom accounts and other managed programs. Freedom’s investment committee manages portfolios of mutual funds, exchange traded funds and separately managed account models on a discretionary basis. AMS also provides certain services for their non-managed fee-based programs (Passport, Ambassador and other non-managed programs). They prov ide performance reporting, research, sales, accounting, trad! ing and o! ther administrative services. Client fees are based on the individual account or relationship size and may also be dependent on the type of securities in the accounts.

Raymond James Trust, National Association, (RJT) provides personal trust services primarily to existing clients of its broker-dealer subsidiaries. Portfolio management of trust assets can be subcontracted to its asset management operations. This subsidiary had a total of approximately $2 billion in client assets at September 30, 2011, including nearly $120 million in the donor-advised charitable foundation known as the Raymond James Charitable Endowment Fund.

RJ BANK

RJ Bank is a federally chartered savings bank, regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which provides corporate, residential and consumer loans, as well as Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insured deposit accounts, to clients of our broker-dealer subsidiaries and to the g eneral public. RJ Bank is active in corporate loan syndications and bank participations as well as purchases residential whole loan packages to hold for investment. RJ Bank generates revenue principally through the interest income earned on loans and investments, which is offset by the interest expense it pays on client deposits and on its borrowings.

RJ Bank’s assets include C&I loans, commercial and residential real estate loans, as well as consumer loans that were purchased or originated by RJ Bank. Corporate loans represent approximately 75% of RJ Bank’s loan portfolio of which 90% are Shared National Credits (SNC) or other large syndicated loans. RJ Bank purchases and originates corporate loans secured by corporate assets, commercial and industrial (C&I) loans, commercial and residential real estate loans, as well as consumer loans, all of which are funded primarily by cash balances swept from the investment accounts of our broker-dealer subsidiaries’ clients.

EMERGING MARKETS

Raymond! James In! ternational Holdings, Inc. (RJIH), through its subsidiaries, has interests in operations in Latin American countries including Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. Through these entities it operates securities brokerage, investment banking, asset management and equity research businesses. In fiscal 2011, approximately 75% of this segments’ investment banking revenues arose from one client.

SECURITIES LENDING

This segment conducts its business through the borrowing and lending of securities from and to other broker-dealers, financial institutions and other counterparties. The Company conducts these activities as an intermediary. Securities Lending will also loan customer marginable securities held in a margin account containing a debit to counterparties. The borrower of the securities puts up a cash deposit on which interest is earned. The lender in turn receives cash and pays interest. These cash deposits are adjusted daily to reflect changes in the cu rrent market value of the underlying securities. Additionally, securities are borrowed from other broker-dealers to facilitate RJ&A’s clearance and settlement obligations. The net revenues of this securities lending business are the interest spreads generated.

PROPRIETARY CAPITAL

This segment consists of its principal capital and private equity activities, including various direct and third-party private equity and merchant banking investments; Raymond James Employee Investment Funds I and II (the EIF Funds), and a private equity fund which we sponsor-Raymond James Capital Partners, L.P. As of September 30, 2011, certain of its merchant banking investments include an investment in a manufacturer of crime investigation and forensic supplies, an event photography business, and an indirect investment in an allergy immunotherapy testing and treatment supply company.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    The joint book-running managers of the issue are Raymond James Financial (NYSE: RJF  ) unit Raymond James & Associates, Royal Bank of Canada’s (NYSE: RY  ) RBC Capital Markets, and the Securities divisions of Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB  ) . The sale is expected to close on May 28.

10 Best Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: 1st United Bancorp Inc (FUBC)

1st United Bancorp, Inc. (Bancorp) is a financial holding company. 1st United Bank, a Florida state chartered bank, is Bancorp’s wholly owned subsidiary. The Company offers its customers, professionals, high net-worth individuals and small and medium-sized businesses, a variety of traditional loan, deposit and cash management products. As of December 31, 2010, Bancorp operated banking center from 15 locations consisting of four banking centers in Palm Beach County, four banking centers in Broward County, four banking centers in Miami-Dade County, and one banking center each in Sebastian, Vero Beach and Barefoot Bay, Florida. As of December 31, 2010, the total assets of Bancorp were at 1.268 billion and the total loans of the Company were at $847.7 million. As of December 31, 2010, its total deposits were $1.064 billion. On January 8, 2011, the Company purchased all of the assets of The Bank of Miami, National Association (The Bank of Miami). Effective April 1, 2012, the Company merged with Anderen Financial, Inc. (Anderen), under which it acquired Anderen and its subsidiary, Anderen Bank. In July 2013, 1st United Bancorp Inc completed its acquisition by merger of Enterprise Bancorp Inc (EBI) and its wholly owned subsidiary Enterprise Bank of Florida.

Investment Activity

Bancorp’s investment portfolio includes several callable agency debentures, mortgage-backed securities, adjustable rate mortgage pass-throughs, and collateralized mortgage obligations. As of December 31, 2010, the investment portfolio of the Company was at $102,289, 000.

Lending Activity

Bancorp offers a range of loans to its customers. The Company includes commercial loans, which include collateralized loans for working capital (including inventory and receivables), business expansion (including real estate construction, acquisitions and improvements), and purchase of equipment and machinery; small business loans, incl uding small business administration (SBA) lending; Export-Im! port Bank insured or guaranteed loans; residential real estate loans to enable borrowers to purchase, refinance, construct upon or improve real property, and home equity loans, and consumer loans, including collateralized and uncollateralized loans for financing automobiles, boats, home improvements, and personal investments. As of December 31, 2010, the Company’s Commercial and Industrial loans were approximately $10.3 million, in Export Import (EXIM) loans which have either insurance or a guarantee of between 90% and 100% from the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Through the Company’s lending division and SBA division, its commercial real estate loan portfolio includes loans secured by office buildings, warehouses, retail stores and other properties, which are located in or near the markets. Commercial real estate loans are generally originated in amounts up to 80% of the appraised value of the property securing the loan. It originates a mix of fix ed rate and adjustable rate residential mortgage loans. It offers adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), and maintains these ARMs in the portfolio or sells the ARMs in the secondary market.

The construction loan portfolio includes residential real estate, commercial real estate and homeowners’ association projects. Through the business lending divisions, the Company offers real estate construction loans to individuals for the construction of their residences, to businesses and business owners primarily for owner-occupied, commercial real estate, and to homeowners’ associations for general repair and/or improvements to the properties. The Company has construction loans on commercial real estate projects secured by industrial properties, office buildings or other property. The land loan portfolio includes exposure to land development, both residential and commercial. As of December 31, 2010, approximately $7.0 million or 21% of the construction and land development loan portfolio was part of the Loss Share Agreements.

T! he Company originates consumer loans bearing both fixed and prime-based variable interest rates. It originates the loans directly through the banking centers, business bankers and residential lenders. It focus the consumer lending on the origination of direct second mortgage loans and home equity loans (secured by a junior lien on residential real property), and home improvement loans. Second mortgage and home improvement loans generally originate on either a line of credit or a fixed term basis ranging from 5 to 15 years. It also extends personal loans, which may be secured by various forms of collateral, both real and personal, or to a minimal extent, on an unsecured basis.

The Company focus on the commercial loan market consists of small- to medium-sized businesses with combined borrowing needs up to $20.0 million. These businesses include professional associations (physicians, law firms, and accountants), medical services, retail trade, construction, transpo rtation, wholesale trade, manufacturing, and tourism-related service industries. Its commercial loans are derived from the market area and underwritten on the basis of the borrowers’ ability to service, such debt from recurring income. The EXIM lending operation makes loans to companies that export United States goods and services to international markets and makes loans to foreign companies to facilitate the purchase of United States goods. As of December 31, 2010, it had approximately $10.3 million in Exim loans.

Deposits

Bancorp maintains a range of deposit accounts to meet the needs of the residents and businesses in the primary service area. Products include an array of checking account programs for individuals and small businesses, including money market accounts, certificates of deposit, individual retirement account (IRA) accounts, and sweep investment capabilities. As of December 31, 2010, the Company had approximately $309.5 million in d eposits by foreign nationals banking in the United States. A! s of Dece! mber 31, 2010, it had approximately $70 million in wholesale certificates of deposit.

The Company competes with Bank of America, SunTrust Bank, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase & Co., BB&T, PNC, Citigroup and BankUnited, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    The biggest increase among our dividend stocks this week came from Boca Raton, Florida-based financial holding company 1st United Bancorp (FUBC), who raised its quarterly dividend 100% to 2 cents per share, payable March 7 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 24.
    FUBC Dividend Yield: 1.07%

10 Best Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: Deutsche Bank AG (LBND)

Deutsche Bank AG is a global investment bank. The Company offers a variety of investment, financial and related products and services to private individuals, corporate entities and institutional clients around the world. The Company operates through such divisions as: Private and Business Clients, Asset and Wealth Management, Corporate Banking and Securities, Global Transaction Banking and Non-Core Operations Unit. Deutsche Bank AG is active domestically and in various countries, through the network of numerous branches. In February 2014, the Company and its related bodies corporate ceases to a share holder in the capital of the Company. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Donald van Deventer]

    Long-duration Treasury Exchange-Traded Funds: (TLH), , (IEF), (DTYL), (DLBL), (ILTB), (TENZ), (ITE), (TLO), (EDV), (VGIT), (VGLT), (TMF), (TYD), (LBND), (UBT), (UST), (TMV), (TYO), (DSTJ), (DSXJ), (SBND), (PST), (DTYS), (DLBS), (TBF), (TTT), (TYNS), (TYBS), (TBX).

10 Best Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: Bank of Hawaii Corp (BOH)

Bank of Hawaii Corporation, incorporated on February 4, 1998, is a bank holding company. The Company’s operating subsidiary is Bank of Hawaii (the Bank). The Bank provides a range of financial services and products primarily to customers in Hawaii, Guam and other Pacific Islands. The Bank’s subsidiaries include Bank of Hawaii Leasing, Inc., Bankoh Investment Services, Inc. and Pacific Century Life Insurance Corporation. The Bank’s subsidiaries are engaged in equipment leasing, securities brokerage, investment services and providing credit insurance. It operates in four segments: Retail Banking, Commercial Banking, Investment Services, and Treasury and Other. Its other subsidiary is the BOHC Investment Fund, LLC (the Fund). The Fund was organized to invest in and hold securities of Qualified High Technology Businesses.

Retail Banking

Retail Banking offers a range of financial products and services to consumers and small businesses. Loan and lease products include residential mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit, automobile loans and leases and installment loans. Deposit products include checking, savings, and time deposit accounts. Retail Banking also offers retail insurance products. Products and services from Retail Banking are delivered to customers through 65 Hawaii branch locations, 494 automated teller machines (ATMs) throughout Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, e-Bankoh (on-line banking service), around-the-clock customer service center, and a mobile banking service.

Commercial Banking

Commercial Banking offers products, including corporate banking, commercial real estate loans, commercial lease financing, auto dealer financing, and deposit products. Commercial lending and deposit products are offered to middle-market and large companies in Hawaii. Commercial real estate mortgages focus on customers that include investors, developers, and builders predominantly domiciled in Hawa ii. Commercial Banking also includes international banking a! nd operations at the Bank’s 11 branches in the Pacific Islands and also provides merchant services to its small business customers.

Investment Services

Investment Services includes private banking, trust services, investment management, and institutional investment advisory services. The private banking and personal trust group assists individuals and families in building and preserving their wealth by providing investment, credit, and trust services to high-net-worth individuals The investment management group manages portfolios utilizing a variety of investment products. Institutional client services offer investment advice to corporations, government entities and foundations. Investment Services also provides a full service brokerage offering equities, mutual funds, life insurance, and annuity products.

Treasury and Other

Treasury consists of corporate asset and liability management activities, including interest rate r isk management and a foreign exchange business. This segment’s assets consist of interest-bearing deposits, investment securities, federal funds sold and purchased, government deposits, and short and long-term borrowings. The primary sources of noninterest income are from bank-owned life insurance, net gains from the sale of investment securities, and foreign exchange income related to customer driven currency requests from merchants and island visitors.

Investment Securities

The Bank’s investment securities portfolio includes debt securities issued by the United States Treasury and Government Agencies, debt securities issued by states and political sub-divisions, debt securities issued by corporations, mortgage-backed securities issued by government agencies and the United States Government-Sponsored Enterprises. As of December 31, 2012, its available-for-sale investment securities portfolio consisted of securities with an average base duration o f less than three years.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Maxfield]

    Percentages aside, the benefit of the relative health of these housing markets can be seen in the performance of smaller, regional banks like Bank of Hawaii (NYSE: BOH  ) , BB&T (NYSE: BBT  ) , and TD Bank (NYSE: TD  ) which have large presences in Hawaii, West Virginia, and Maine, respectively. Shares of all of these banks have more than recovered since the financial crisis as a testament to this.

10 Best Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: Union First Market Bankshares Corp (UBSH)

Union First Market Bankshares Corporation is a bank holding company. The Company offers financial services through its community bank subsidiary Union First Market Bank and three non-bank financial services affiliates. The Company’s non-bank financial services affiliates are Union Mortgage Group, Inc., Union Investment Services, Inc. and Union Insurance Group, LLC. The Company operates in two segments: traditional full service community banking business and its mortgage loan origination business. The Company is a community banking organization based in Virginia and provides full service banking to the Northern, Central, Rappahannock, Shenandoah, Tidewater, and Northern Neck regions of Virginia through Union First Market Bank. Union First Market Bank (the Bank) is a full service community bank offering consumers and businesses a range of banking and related financial services, including checking, savings, certificates of deposit and other depository services, as well as l oans for commercial, industrial, residential mortgage and consumer purposes. The Bank issues credit cards and delivers automated teller machine (ATM) services. The Bank also offers Internet banking services and online bill payment for all customers, whether retail or commercial. The Bank also offers private banking and trust services to individuals and corporations through its Financial Guidance Group. In January 2014, the Company acquired StellarOne Corporation.

As of December 31, 2011, Union First Market Bank operated 99 locations in the counties of Albemarle, Caroline, Chesterfield, Essex, Fairfax, Fauquier, Fluvanna, Frederick, Hanover, Henrico, James City, King George, King William, Lancaster, Loudoun, Nelson, Northumberland, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Warren, Washington, Westmoreland, York, and the independent cities of Charlottesville, Colonial Heights, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Newport News, Richmond, Staunton, Stephens City, Waynesb oro, Williamsburg, and Winchester. Union First Market Bank a! lso operates loan production offices in Staunton, Winchester, and Tappahannock. Union Investment Services, Inc. provides brokerage services; Union Mortgage Group, Inc. provides a line of mortgage products, and Union Insurance Group, LLC offers various lines of insurance products. Union First Market Bank also owns a non-controlling interest in Johnson Mortgage Company, L.L.C.

Union Investment Services, Inc. provides securities, brokerage and investment advisory services. It has 11 offices within the Bank’s trade area and is a full service investment company handling all aspects of wealth management, including stocks, bonds, annuities, mutual funds and financial planning. Securities are offered through a third party contractual arrangement with Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., an independent broker dealer. Union Mortgage Group, Inc., (UMG) has offices in Virginia (seven), Maryland (three), North Carolina (three), and South Carolina (two). UMG is also lic ensed to do business in selected states throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, as well as Washington, D.C. It provides a variety of mortgage products to customers in those areas. The mortgage loans originated by UMG are generally sold in the secondary market through purchase agreements with institutional investors. Union Insurance Group, LLC (UIG), an insurance agency, is owned by the Bank and Union Mortgage. This agency operates in a joint venture with Bankers Insurance, LLC, an insurance agency owned by community banks across Virginia and managed by the Virginia Bankers Association. UIG generates revenue through sales of various insurance products, including long term care insurance and business owner policies.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sean Williams]

    What: Shares of StellarOne (NASDAQ: STEL  ) , a commercial, mortgage, and wealth management bank servicing small and medium-sized businesses in Virginia, jumped as much as 20% after agreeing to be purchased by Union First Market Bancshares (NASDAQ: UBSH  ) .

  • [By GuruFocus]

    Reduced: Union First Market Bankshares Corp (UBSH)

    Tom Gayner reduced to his holdings in Union First Market Bankshares Corp by 12.64%. His sale prices were between $18.24 and $20.59, with an estimated average price of $19.52. The impact to his portfolio due to this sale was -0.18%. Tom Gayner still held 1,658,339 shares as of 06/30/2013.

10 Best Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: Barclays PLC (JO)

Barclays PLC (Barclays) is a global financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, wholesale banking, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services. The Company’s operations include its overseas offices, subsidiaries and associates. The Company operates in eight segments: UK Retail and Business Banking (UK RBB), Europe Retail and Business Banking (Europe RBB), Africa Retail and Business Banking (Africa RBB), Barclaycard, Barclays Investment Bank, Barclays Corporate Banking, Wealth and Investment Management, and Head Office and Other Operations. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sean Williams]

    Time for a cup of joe
    Two years ago I slapped a CAPScall of underperform on the iPath DJ AIG Coffee ETF (NYSEMKT: JO  ) following what looked like a rampant speculative run higher. Coffee stockpiles weren’t particularly low back then and there didn’t appear to be any weather-related production concerns, so the run-up in coffee futures looked unwarranted. Sure enough, two years later that CAPScall is up nearly 90 points. Now, I’m going to turn that frown upside down and suggest it’s the perfect time to consider buying this ETF that closely tracks coffee futures!

10 Best Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS)

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (RBS), incorporated on March 25, 1968, is a holding company of a global banking and financial services group. The Company operates in the United Kingdom, the United States and internationally through its two principal subsidiaries: The Royal Bank of Scotland plc (the Royal Bank) and National Westminster Bank Plc (NatWest). Both the Royal Bank and NatWest are clearing banks. In the United States, the Company’s subsidiary Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (Citizens) is a commercial banking organization. The Company’s business segment include UK Retail, UK Corporate, Wealth, Global Transaction Services, Ulster Bank, US Retail & Commercial, Global Banking & Markets (GBM), RBS Insurance, Central items, Non-Core Division and Business Services. In February 2012, Ensign Group, Inc. acquired $21.5 million seven-year term loan from RBS Asset Finance, Inc., an affiliate of the Company. In May 2012, The Paragon Group of Companies PLC announced the acquisition of further unsecured consumer loans, through its Idem Capital Securities subsidiary, from the Company.

In September 2011, the Company sold Hilton Glasgow City hotel to Topland Group. In October 2011, Paragon Group of Companies PLC acquired a portfolio of unsecured consumer loans from Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc. In December 2011, the Company sold its tenanted pub business to Scottish & Newcastle Pub Company (Management) Limited (S&NPC), a subsidiary of Heineken N.V.

As of December 31, 2011, the Royal Bank and NatWest had 627 and 1,493 retail branches, respectively, in the United Kingdom. Ulster Bank has a foot print of 236 branches and a network of business banking offices across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. US Retail & Commercial had 1,519 retail banking offices (including in-store branches) covering Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

UK Retail

The Company offers a range of banking products and related financial services to the personal market. It serves customers through the RBS and NatWest networks of branches and automated teller machines (ATMs) in the United Kingdom, telephony, online and mobile.

UK Corporate

The Company is a provider of banking, finance, and risk management services to the corporate and small and medium enterprises (SME) sector in the United Kingdom. It offers a range of banking products and related financial services through a nationwide network of relationship managers, and also through telephone and Internet channels. The product range includes asset finance through the Lombard brand.

Wealth

The Company provides private banking and investment services in the United Kingdom through Coutts & Co and Adam & Company. It also offers offshore banking through RBS International, NatWest Offshore and Isle of Man Bank, and international private banking through Coutts & Co Ltd.

Global Transaction Services

The Company offers global payments, cash and liquidity management, and trade finance and commercial card products and services. Through the network and partner bank agreements, GTS is able to support and connect customers across 128 countries.

Ulster Bank

Ulster Bank is retail and business bank in Northern Ireland. It provides a range of financial services. As of December 31, 2011, the Retail Markets division, which had a network of 236 branches, operated in the personal and financial planning sectors. The Corporate Markets division provides services to SME business customers, corporates and institutional markets.

US Retail and Commercial

The Company provides financial services through the Citizens and Charter One brands. US Retail & Commercial is engaged in retail and corporate banking activities through its branch network in 12 states in the United States and through non-branch offices in othe! r states.!

Global Banking and Markets

The Company is a banking partner to corporations and financial institutions globally, providing a range of debt and equity financing, risk management and investment services to its customers. The division is organized along six principal business lines: money markets, rates flow trading, currencies, equities, credit and mortgage markets, and portfolio management and origination.

RBS Insurance

The Company provides a range of general insurance products to consumers through a range of brands, including Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also provides insurance services for third party brands through its UKI Partnerships business. In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses through brokers or direct respectively. Through its international division, RBS Insurance sells general insurance, mainly motor, in Germany and Italy. In addition to insurance services, RBS Insurance continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of the United Kingdom motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and Tracker stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business. On 15 February 2012, a new corporate brand, Direct Line Group, was announced.

Central Functions

Central Functions consist of corporate functions, such as treasury, funding and finance, risk management, legal, communications and human resources. The Centre manages the Company’s capital resources and regulatory projects and provides services to the operating divisions.

Non-Core Division

Non-Core Division manages separately assets, which the Company intends to run off or dispose of. The division contains a range of businesses and asset portfolios from the GBM division, higher risk profile asset portfolios, including excess risk concentrations, and other illiquid portfolios. It als o includes a range of other portfolios and businesses, inclu! ding regi! onal markets businesses.

Business Services

Business Services supports the customer-facing businesses and provides operational technology, customer support in telephony, account management, lending and money transmission, global purchasing, property and other services. It also leverages its purchasing power and is the Company’s center for managing large-scale and complex change.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Reuters]

    Kris Connor/Getty ImagesU.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The U.S. Justice Department is preparing to file civil fraud charges against Citigroup and Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit over their sale of flawed mortgage securities ahead of the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the probes. Civil investigators have compiled evidence that allegedly shows that investors lost tens of billions of dollars after purchasing securities Citigroup (C) had marketed as safe even though the bank had reason to believe otherwise, one person said. An investigation into the mortgage securities marketed by Merrill Lynch, which Bank of America (BAC) agreed to acquire at the height of the crisis in 2008, is also close to completion, two other people said. Probes against Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Credit Suisse (CS) are also underway and progressing, according to another two people familiar with those cases. Representatives for all four banks declined to comment. The U.S. banking industry, which faces a range of mortgage-related lawsuits, has contended that many of the alleged investor losses can be attributed to the financial crisis, and that they shouldn’t be held liable for marketing a variety of mortgage securities that ultimately soured. The Justice Department hasn’t determined the exact timing of upcoming lawsuits, the sources said, although U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told Reuters earlier this month that the department planned to bring more mortgage-related cases in early 2014, while declining to name which companies were targeted. The probes could also lead to settlements instead of lawsuits. The cases stem from a government task force the Obama administration created in early 2012 to probe the sale of shoddy home loans repackaged for investors. Last month, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) entered a $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department and other agencies, to resolve charges that the bank overstated the quality of mortgages it was

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Even more interesting is the prospect that Toronto-Dominion might seek to buy Citizens Bank, which is owned by Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE: RBS  ) . Rumors of a potential $13 billion deal for Citizens surfaced back in October, but thus far, nothing has happened to substantiate those rumors. With RBS facing scrutiny from the U.K. government to reorganize, it might be looking to divest its U.S. operations, and the move could greatly enhance TD’s presence in the States. But TD’s top executive said earlier this year that a potential acquisition of Citizens wouldn’t necessary match well with the bank’s usual guidelines for buyouts.

10 Best Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: Banco Santander Brasil SA (BSBR)

Banco Santander (Brasil) S.A. (Santander Brasil), incorporated on August 9, 1985, is a full-service bank in Brazil. The Bank operates its business along three segments: Commercial Banking, Global Wholesale Banking and Asset Management and Insurance. Through its Commercial Banking segment, the Bank offers traditional banking services, including checking and savings accounts, home and automobile financing, unsecured consumer financing, checking account overdraft loans, credit cards and payroll loans to mid- and high-income individuals and corporations (other than to its Global Banking and Markets clients). Its Global Wholesale Banking segment provides financial services and solutions to a group of approximately 700 local and multinational conglomerates, offering such products as global transaction banking, syndicated lending, corporate finance, equity and treasury. Through its Asset Management and Insurance segment, the Company manages fixed income, money market, equity and multi-market funds and offers insurance products complementary to its core banking business to its retail and small- and medium-sized corporate customers.

Lending Activities

As of December 31, 2010, the Bank’s total loans and advances to customers equaled R$160.6 billion (42.9% of its total assets). Net of allowances for credit losses, loans and advances to customers equaled R$151.4 billion as of December 31, 2010 (40.4% of its total assets). In addition to loans, it had outstanding R$93.5 billion as of December 31, 2010.

Substantially all of its loans are to borrowers domiciled in Brazil and are denominated in reais. Its commercial, financial and industrial loans include primarily loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in its Commercial Banking segment, and to Global Banking and Markets corporate and business enterprise customers in its Wholesale Global Banking segment. The principal products offered to SMEs in this categ ory include revolving loans, overdraft facilities, installme! nt loans, working capital and equipment finance loans. Credit approval for SMEs is based on customer income, business activity, collateral coverage and internal and external credit scoring tools. Collateral on commercial, financial and industrial lending to SMEs generally includes receivables, liens, pledges, guarantees and mortgages, with coverage generally ranging from 100% to 150% of the loan value depending on the risk profile of the loan. Its Wholesale Global Banking customers are offered a range of loan products ranging from typical corporate banking products (installment loans, working capital and equipment finance loans) to more sophisticated products (derivative and capital markets transactions).

The Bank’s Real estate-construction loans include construction loans made principally to real estate developers that are SMEs and corporate customers in its Wholesale Global Banking Segment. Loans in this category are generally secured by mortgages and recei vables, though guarantees may also be provided as additional security. Real estate-mortgage loans include loans on residential real estate to individuals. All loans granted under this category are secured by the financed real estate. Installment loans to individuals consist primarily of unsecured personal installment loans (including loans whose payments are automatically deducted from a customer’s payroll), revolving loans, overdraft facilities, consumer finance facilities and credit cards. Lease financing includes primarily automobile leases and loans to individuals. The vehicle financed acts as collateral for the particular loan granted.

Investment Activities

The Bank’s investments include Government securities-Brazil, Government securities-other countries and other debt securities. As of December 31, 2010, the book value of the investment securities was R$84.7 billion (representing 22.6% of its total assets). Brazilian government securities totaled R$55.8 billion, or 65.9% of the Bank’s investment! securiti! es as of December 31, 2010. As of December 31, 2010, the Bank held no securities of single issuers or related group of companies whose aggregate book or market value exceed 10% of stockholders’ equity, other than Brazilian government securities, which represented 76.9% of its stockholders’ equity.

Sources of Funds

The Bank offers its customers a variety of deposit products, such as current accounts (also referred to as demand deposits), which do not bear interest; traditional savings accounts, which earn the Brazilian reference rate for savings accounts (taxa referencial) plus 0.5% per month, as set by the federal government, and time deposits, which are represented by certificates of bank deposits (CDBs), which normally have a maturity of less than 36 months and earn interest at a fixed or floating rate. In addition, it accepts deposits from financial institutions as part of its treasury operations, which are represented by certificates of int erbank deposit CDIs, and which earn the interbank deposit rate.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rudy Martin]

    We are buying Banco Santander (Brasil) S.A. (BSBR) to gain broad additional exposure to the Brazilian.

    BSBR offers a full-service range of financial services, including individual and corporate banking. We also hope to benefit from the stock’s 7.2% current indicated dividend yield.