Top 10 Bank Stocks For 2015


Due to the government shutdown, about all we can really expect from the Labor Department is a report on weekly jobless claims. Yes, the national unemployment and payrolls report likely will not be released this Friday. So now investors and traders will have to focus on the national payrolls report from ADP as “the big employment number” this week.

The ADP National Employment Report projects that the private sector added about 166,000 jobs in the month of September. Bloomberg was calling for 180,000 and Dow Jones was calling for 178,000 as the consensus readings. The prior report from August was revised down from 176,000 to 159,000.


ADP signaled that goods-producing employment rose by 19,000 jobs in September, construction payrolls added 16,000 jobs and manufacturing payrolls increased by only 1,000. As the United States has a services-based economy, it should be of little surprise that service-providing industries added 147,000 jobs in September, but this was down from 152,000 in August. Service jobs added were as follows:

Top 10 Bank Stocks For 2015: 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.

Top 10 Bank Stocks For 2015: Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (the Bank) is engaged in the provision of a range of banking and financial products and services to retail, small business, corporate and institutional clients. The Bank is a provider of integrated financial services, including retail, business and institutional banking, superannuation, life insurance, general insurance, funds management, broking services and finance company activities. Its operating segments include Retail Banking Services, Business and Private Banking, Institutional Banking and Markets, Wealth Management, New Zealand, Bankwest and Other. Its retail banking services include home loans, consumer finance, retail deposits and distribution. Its business and private banking include corporate financial services, regional and agribusiness banking, local business banking, private bank and equities and margin lending. The Bank and its subsidiaries ceased to be a substantial holder in Ten Network Holdings Limited, as of September 12, 201 2. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jan Schalkwijk]

    M-Pesa, the system that revolutionized mobile payments in Kenya and beyond, is not capital intensive for Safaricom, but the company has to pay 10% of revenues to Vodafone, which runs the system’s technology backbone. Safaricom is planning to take this job on itself going forward, which should increase profitability, though there would be some operational risk if they can’t deliver the same level of service. M-Pesa has now spawned M-Shwari, which is the same concept but adds mobile banking services such as the provision of credit. This new service is delivered in partnership with the unlisted Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA).

  • [By Yoshiaki Nohara]

    Panasonic Corp., Japan’s largest consumer electronics maker, climbed 6.8 percent after posting profit that beat estimates. STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. (067250) jumped 15 percent in Seoul after agreeing to restructure it debt. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the nation’s biggest lender, fell 1.5 percent, pacing losses among the nation’s financial shares on a report the government will impose a new tax on banks.

  • [By Toshiro Hasegawa]

    Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) fell 1.1 percent to A$73.73. Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (ST) retreated 1.1 percent to S$3.78 today after posting earnings.

Top 10 Bank Stocks For 2015: Trico Bancshares (TCBK)


TriCo Bancshares (TriCo), incorporated on October 13, 1981, is a bank holding company that operates through its wholly owned subsidiary, Tri Counties Bank (the Bank). The Bank conducts a commercial banking business, including accepting demand, savings and time deposits, and making commercial, real estate and consumer loans. It also offers installment note collection, issues cashier’s checks, sells travelers checks, and provides safe deposit boxes and other customary banking services. Brokerage services are provided at the Bank’s offices by the Bank’s association with Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., an independent financial services provider and broker-dealer. The Bank does not offer trust services or international banking services. Tri Counties Bank, TriCo Capital Trust I and TriCo Capital Trust II are the subsidiaries of the Bank. On September 23, 2011, the Bank acquired Bank of Northern California.


The Company is engaged in the banking business throu gh 68 offices in 23 counties in Northern and Central California including ten offices in Shasta County, nine in Butte County, seven in Sacramento and Nevada Counties, six in Placer County, four in Stanislaus County, three each in Siskiyou, Sutter and Kern Counties, two each in Glenn and Yolo Counties, and one each in Contra Costa, Del Norte, Fresno, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Mendocino, Merced, Napa, Tehama, Tulare, and Yuba Counties. The Bank’s 76 automated teller machines (ATMs) are linked to several national and regional networks, such as CIRRUS and STAR. In addition, banking by telephone on a around-the-clock toll-free number is available to all customers. This service allows a customer to obtain account balances and most recent transactions, transfer moneys between accounts, make loan payments and obtain interest rate information. The Bank emphasizes on retail banking. Most of the Bank’s customers are retail customers and small to medium-sized businesses. The Bank emphasiz es serving the needs of local businesses, farmers and ranche! rs, retired individuals and wage earners.


Lending activities

The Bank conducts a commercial banking business, including accepting demand, savings and time deposits and making commercial, real estate, and consumer loans. It also offers installment note collection, issues cashier’s checks, sells travelers checks and provides safe deposit boxes and other customary banking services. Brokerage services are provided at the Bank’s offices by the Bank’s association with Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., an independent financial services provider and broker-dealer. The Bank concentrates its lending activities in four principal areas: real estate mortgage loans (residential and commercial loans), consumer loans, commercial loans (including agricultural loans), and real estate construction loans. The majority of the Bank’s loans are direct loans made to individuals, farmers and local businesses.


As of December 31, 2011 loans, includi ng net deferred loan costs, totaled $1,551,032,000. As of December 31, 2011, total Real estate mortgage loans net deferred loan costs, were $ 965,922,000; total consumer loans were $ 406,330,000; total commercial loans were $ 139,131,000, and real estate construction loans were $ 39,649.

Investment Activities

The Bank classifies its investments as available for sale (AFS). As of December 31, 2011, investments consisted of corporate debt and debt securities of the United States government. As of December 31, 2011, the Bank’s securities portfolio consisted of obligations of the United States Government corporations and agencies, obligations of states and political subdivisions, and corporate bonds.


Sources of Funds

Most of the Bank’s deposits are attracted from individuals and business-related sources. The various types of deposits offered by the Bank include non-interest-bearing demand deposits, interest-bearing demand dep osits, savings deposits, time certificates of $100,000 and o! ver, and ! other time certificates. As of December 31, 2011, the Bank’s deposits totaled $ 2,190,536. The Bank participates in a deposit program offered by the State of California whereby the State may make deposits at the Bank’s request subject to collateral and creditworthiness constraints.


The Company had $8,527,000 of other collateralized borrowings as of December 31, 2011. The Company maintains a collateralized line of credit with the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. Other collateralized borrowings are generally overnight maturity borrowings from non-financial institutions that are collateralized by securities owned by the Company. The Bank had available unused correspondent banking lines of credit from commercial banks totaling $5,000,000 for federal funds transactions as of December 31, 2011.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    California-based TriCo Bancshares (NASDAQ: TCBK  ) announced today its second-quarter dividend of $0.11 per share, a 22% increase over the $0.09 per share payout it made last quarter.

Top 10 Bank Stocks For 2015: Simplicity Bancorp Inc (SMPL)

Simplicity Bancorp Inc., formerly K-Fed Bancorp, is a federally-chartered stock holding company. K-Fed Bancorp is a wholly owned subsidiary of K-Fed Mutual Holding Company (the MHC), a federally-chartered mutual holding company. K-Fed Bancorp operates through its subsidiary, Kaiser Federal Bank (the Bank), a federally chartered stock savings bank, which provides retail and commercial banking services to individuals and business customers from its nine branch and financial service center locations throughout California. The Bank is a community-oriented financial institution offering a variety of financial services. The Bank’s principal business activity consists of attracting retail deposits from the general public and originating primarily loans secured by first mortgages on owner-occupied one-to-four family residences and multi-family residences located in its market area and, to a lesser extent, automobile and other consumer loans. Its revenues are derived principally from interest on loans and mortgage-backed and related securities. It also generates revenue from service charges and other income. The Bank offers a variety of deposit accounts having a range of interest rates and terms, which generally include savings accounts, money market accounts, demand deposit accounts and certificate of deposit accounts with varied terms ranging from 90 days to 5 years.


Lending Activities

The Bank originates consumer loans, primarily automobile loans. As of June 30, 2010, its net loan portfolio totaled $758 million, which constituted 87.4% of its total assets. As of June 30, 2010, the Bank’s first lien one-to-four family residential mortgage loans totaled $335.6 million, or 43.5%, of its gross loan portfolio. It originates one-to-four family mortgage loans on a fixed rate and adjustable rate basis. As of June 30, 2010, the Bank’s one-to-four family adjustable rate mortgage loan portfolio totaled $58.6 million, or 7.6% o f its gross loan portfolio. As of June 30, 2010, the fixed r! ate one-to-four family mortgage loan portfolio totaled $276.9 million, or 35.9% of its gross loan portfolio. Included in non-accrual loans at June 30, 2010, were $2.9 million in adjustable rate one-to-four family mortgage loans and $21.9 million in fixed rate one-to-four family mortgage loans.


The Bank also offers multi-family residential real estate loans. These loans are secured by real estate located in its primary market areas, within the state of California. As of June 30, 2010, multi-family residential loans totaled $278.4 million, or 36.1%, of its gross loan portfolio, and consists of 415 loans outstanding with an average loan balance of approximately $670,000. It offers a variety of secured consumer loans, including home equity lines of credit, new and used automobile loans, and loans secured by savings deposits. It also offers a limited amount of unsecured loans. At June 30, 2010, the Bank’s consumer loan portfolio, exclusive of automobile loans, tot aled $13.8 million, or 1.8%, of its gross loan portfolio.


Investment Activities

The Bank is authorized to invest in various types of liquid assets, including the United States Treasury obligations, securities of various federal agencies, certain certificates of deposit of insured banks and savings institutions, certain bankers’ acceptances, repurchase agreements and federal funds. At June 30, 2010, the Bank’s investment portfolio totaled $6 million and consisted principally of investment grade collateralized mortgage obligations and mortgage-backed securities. It invests in mortgage-backed securities insured or guaranteed by Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) or Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae). As of June 30, 2010, it also had an investment in an affordable housing fund totaling $1.2 million.


Sources of Funds

The Bank’s sourc es of funds are deposits, payment of principal and interest ! on loans,! interest earned on or maturity of investment securities, borrowings, and funds provided from operations. It offers a variety of deposit accounts to consumers with a range of interest rates and terms. Its deposits consist of time deposit accounts, savings, money market and demand deposit accounts. The Bank’s borrowings consist of advances from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. It may obtain advances from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco upon the security of its mortgage loans and mortgage-backed securities. As of June 30, 2010, the Bank had $137 million in Federal Home Loan Bank advances outstanding. At June 30, 2010, it had available additional advances from the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of San Francisco in the amount of $219.1 million.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tim Melvin]

    HBCP stock is trading at 94% of book value and is very attractive at the current price.

    Simplicity Bancorp (SMPL)

    Simplicity Bancorp (SMPL) in Covina, Calif., started out decades ago as a credit union for employees of the Kaiser Foundation Hospital. It has since grown to a nine-branch bank with $834 million in assets. SMPL had its conversion IPO back in 2010, and is an extremely attractive takeover target right now. The bank’s equity-to-asset ratio is 16, and nonperforming assets are less than 2% of the total, so that’s a solid financial condition to be in.

Top 10 Bank Stocks For 2015: Credicorp Ltd (BAP)


Credicorp Ltd. (Credicorp), incorporated on October 20, 1995, is a financial services holding company. The Company is organized in four operating segments: Banking, Insurance, Pension funds and Brokerage and other. Credicorp is engaged principally in banking (including commercial and investment banking), insurance (including commercial property, transportation and marine hull, automobile, life, health and underwriting insurance), pension funds (including private pension fund management services), and brokerage and other (including the structuring and placement of primary market securities issues and the execution and trading of secondary market transactions.). Its four operating subsidiaries are : Banco de Credito del Peru (BCP), Atlantic Security Bank (ASB), El Pacifico-Peruano Suiza Compania de Seguros y Reaseguros, and Prima AFP.


Banking segment

Banking includes handling loans, credit facilities, deposits and current accounts, and providing in vestment banking services, including corporate finance, both for corporate and institutional customers. Banking also includes handling deposits consumer loans and credit cards facilities for individual customers. The Company conducts banking activities in Bolivia through BCP Bolivia, a service commercial bank. Its banking business is organized into wholesale banking activities, which are carried out by BCP’s wholesale banking group (which includes the corporate banking operations of ASB), and retail banking activities, which are carried out by BCP’s retail banking group. Its deposit-taking operations are managed by BCP’’s retail banking group and and ASB’s private banking group.


Insurance

Credicorp’s insurance segment includes commercial property, transportation and marine hull, automobile, life, health and pension fund underwriting insurance. Private hospital services are also included under this operating segment. The Company conducts its in surance operations Grupo Pacifico and its subsidiaries, whic! h provide a broad range of insurance products. Grupo Pacifico property and casualty insurance through Pacifico Seguros, life and pension insurance through Pacifico Vida, and health care insurance through Pacificosalud EPS.. Grupo Pacifico sells its products both directly and through independent brokers and agents.


Pension funds

Credicorp’s pension funds segment provides private pension fund management services to customers. Credicorp conducts all of its pension fund activities through its private pension fund administrator Prima AFP. Credicorp through its subsidiary Prima AFP, focuses mainly on obtaining new affiliates, by providing permanent information and diverse channels of communication.

Brokerage and other

The Company’s brokerage and others segment includes the structuring and placement of primary market issues and the execution and trading of secondary market transactions. This segment also includes offers of l ocal securitization structuring to corporate entities, management of mutual funds and other services. The majority of its trading and brokerage activities are conducted through BCP, ASB and Credicorp Securities Inc. Its asset management business is carried out by BCP in Peru, through its subsidiary Credifondo, and by ASB. It offers Brokerage and other services through BCP and ASB. BCP offers clients a range of such products and services, such as brokerage, mutual funds and custody services through its branch network in Lima and throughout the rest of Peru. In addition, ASB also offers brokerage and other services.


The Company competes with BCP, BBVA Banco Continental, Scotiabank Peru, Interbank and Banco Interamericano de Finanzas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chuck Carnevale]

    Credit Corp. Limited (BAP)

    My first featured aggressive financial candidate is Credit Corp. Limited, a Bermuda-based financial services holding company, and the largest financial holding company in Peru. Although the company is headquartered in Bermuda and operates in Peru, its long-term track record is exceptional. Once again, I will let the F.A.S.T. Graphs™ speak for themselves, other than to say in addition to a great track record, this ADR is expected to offer above-average growth and appears to be very attractively valued at today’s levels.

Top 10 Bank Stocks For 2015: 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.

Top 10 Bank Stocks For 2015: Northern Financial Corp (NFC)


Northern Financial Corporation (Northern) is engaged in full service investment dealer business, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Northern Securities Inc. (Northern Securities), providing financial advisory services to retail and institutional clients and investment banking services to small capitalization companies. The Company’s business generates revenue from commissions and advisory fees earned on investment banking activities, and commissions from institutional sales and trading and retail investment advisors, and from principal trading. Northern is also engaged in merchant banking business that supplements the investment dealer business. Northern Securities is a member firm of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Holly LaFon]

    Several financial institutions and credit card companies along with companies like Google, Inc. (GOOG), Apple, Inc. (AAPL), and Paypal have aspirations to be players in the emerging sector of mobile payments. Mobile payments allow you to pay for goods or service from your phone instead of paying with cash, check, or credit cards. Today, these payment mechanisms are restricted to premium SMS, direct carrier billing, website purchases through a mobile browser, and Near Field Communications (NFC). NFC is a set of standards for smartphones and similar devices that allow them to communicate with each other without touching, but by being in close proximity. NFC devices can be used in contactless payment systems, similar to those used in credit cards, to allow mobile payment to replace or supplement existing credit card and debit card type systems. The combined market for all types of mobile payments is expected to reach more than $600 billion globally by 2013. Google, Inc., a Ba ron investment, is currently the only company that has a large commercial NFC deployment in the market today. As Google pushes further into local advertising and promotions, it plans to utilize Google Wallet to enhance its relationship with consumers and businesses. Google Wallet is a mobile payment system developed by Google that allows smartphone users to store credit cards, loyalty card, and gift cards on their mobile phones, utilizing NFC for the payment of goods and services. Consumers will be able to redeem promotions or loyalty programs through Google Wallet, enabling stores to enhance their relationships with consumers.

Top 10 Bank Stocks For 2015: Virginia Heritage Bank (VGBK)


Virginia Heritage Bank is a commercial bank. The Bank serves the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area with an emphasis on Northern Virginia. It offers a range of banking services. Its services include free business and consumer checking, premium interest-bearing checking, business account analysis, savings, certificates of deposit and other depository services, as well as an array of commercial, real estate and consumer loans. Total deposits were $491.7 million at December 31, 2011. Non-interest bearing deposits totaled $57.3 million or 11.66% of total deposits as of December 31, 2011. The Bank has full service branches in Fairfax, Chantilly, Gainesville, Tysons Corner and Dulles, Virginia, and a mortgage division headquartered in Chantilly, Virginia.


Lending Activities

The Bank’s primary lending focus is real estate finance, as well as making loans to small businesses, professionals and other consumers in its local market area. At Decembe r 31, 2011, approximately 49.3% of the total loan portfolio was composed of commercial real estate loans. The Bank’s primary lending activities are principally directed to its market area in the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area with an emphasis on Northern Virginia. Commercial loans are offered for a variety of business purposes, including government contract receivables, plant and equipment, general working capital, contract administration and acquisition lending. The Bank finances the purchase of commercial real estate properties, such as office buildings and warehouses. A significant portion of the commercial real estate securing the Bank’s commercial real estate loans at December 31, 2011, was owner-occupied. The Bank has a concentration in loans secured by commercial real estate. At December 31, 2011, its loan portfolio consisted of 49.3% respectively, of commercial real estate loans.


The Bank’s real estate construction lending segment of it s portfolio is predominately residential in nature and compo! sed of loans with short duration, typically 12 to 24 months. The Bank offers a variety of residential real estate loans both for purchase and refinancing, most of which are sold in the secondary market. It also provides loans to small businesses that may be secured by residential real estate. The Bank’s residential real estate lending products are available through all of its banking facilities and its mortgage division in Chantilly, Virginia. At December 31, 2011, total residential real estate loans amounted to $53.7 million, excluding loans held for sale of $16.9 million, respectively. The Bank offers an array of consumer loans, including automobile loans, term loans, and overdraft protection.


Investments Securities

As of December 31, 2011, the Bank’s investment portfolio was classified as available for sale. As of December 31, 2011, investment securities available for sale amounted to $98.8 million. The investment portfolio contained corporat e debt securities amounting to $6.1 million as of December 31, 2011.

Sources of Funds

Deposits are the major source of funding for the Bank. The Bank offers an array of deposit products that include demand, negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW), money market and savings accounts, as well as certificates of deposit.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By CRWE]

    Today, VGBK remains (0.00%) +0.000 at $16.00 thus far (ref. google finance Delayed: 9:30AM EDT July 31, 2013).

    Virginia Heritage Bank previously reported quarterly earnings of $2.5 million after taxes, or $0.55 per share (basic) and $0.54 per share (diluted), for the period ended June 30, 2013. This is a 29% increase over earnings of $1.9 million after taxes, or $0.44 per share (basic and diluted), from the same period a year ago. On a year-to-date basis, earnings were $4.5 million after taxes, or $1.01 per share (basic) and $0.98 per share (diluted) through June 30, 2013 versus $3.3 million after taxes, or $0.76 per share (basic and diluted) in 2012.


    The Bank’s second quarter results produced an annualized rate of return of 1.25% on average assets and 16.66% on average common equity compared to 1.25% and 15.40%, respectively for the same period a year ago. On a year-to-date basis, the annualized rate of return was 1.15% on average assets and 15.67% on average common equity compared to 1.12% and 13.55%, respectively for 2012.

Top 10 Bank Stocks For 2015: JPMorgan Chase & Co (AMJ)

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPMorgan Chase), incorporated on October 28, 1968, is a financial holding company. The Company is a global financial services firm and a banking institution in the United States, with global operations. The Company is engaged in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. JPMorgan Chase’s principal bank subsidiaries are JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association (JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.), a national bank with the United States branches in 23 states, and Chase Bank USA, National Association (Chase Bank USA, N.A.), a national bank that is the Company’s credit card-issuing bank. JPMorgan Chase’s non-bank subsidiary is J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (JPMorgan Securities), the Company’s the United States investment banking firm. The bank and non-bank subsidiaries of JPMorgan Chase operate nationally, as well as through overseas bra nches and subsidiaries, representative offices and subsidiary foreign banks. One of the Company’s principal operating subsidiaries in the United Kingdom is J.P. Morgan Securities plc., a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. JPMorgan Chase’s activities are organized into four business segments, as well as Corporate/Private Equity. The Company’s consumer business is the Consumer & Community Banking segment. The Company’s wholesale businesses consists of Corporate & Investment Bank, Commercial Banking, and Asset Management segments. Effective January 7, 2014, JPMorgan Chase & Co acquired an undisclosed minority stake in Chi-X Global Holdings LLC.


Consumer & Community Banking

Consumer & Community Banking (CCB) serves consumers and businesses through personal service at bank branches and through automated teller machines (ATMs), online mobile and telephone banking.CCB is organized into Consumer & Business banking, Mortgage Banking (including M ortgage Production and Servicing, and Real Estate Portfolios! ) and Card, Merchant Services & Auto (Card). Consumer & Business Banking offers deposit and investment products and services to consumers, and lending, deposit, and cash management and payment solutions to small businesses. Mortgage Banking includes mortgage origination and servicing activities, as well as portfolios comprised of residential mortgages and home equity loans, including the purchased credit impaired (PCI) portfolio acquired in the Washington Mutual transaction. Mortgage origination channels consists of Retail, Wholesale, Correspondent and Correspondent negotiated transactions. Retail includes Borrowers who buy or refinance a home through direct contact with a mortgage banker employed by the Firm using a branch office, the Internet or by phone. Wholesale refers to third-party mortgage brokers loan application packages to the Company. The Company then underwrites and funds the loan. Correspondent includes Banks, thrifts, other mortgage banks and other financial i nstitutions that sell closed loans to the Firm. Correspondent negotiated transactions include mid-to-large-sized mortgage lenders, banks and bank-owned mortgage companies sell servicing to the Firm on an as-originated basis (excluding sales of bulk servicing transactions). Card issues credit cards to consumers and small businesses, provides payment services to corporate and public sector clients through its commercial card products, offers payment processing services to merchants, and provides auto and student loan services.


Corporate & Investment Bank

The Corporate & Investment Bank (CIB) offers a suite of investment banking, market-making, prime brokerage, and treasury and securities products and services to a global client base of corporations, investors, financial institutions, government and municipal entities. Within Banking, the CIB offers a range of investment banking products and services in all major capital markets, including advising on corporate strategy and structure, capital-raising in equity ! and debt ! markets, as well as loan origination and syndication. The Company also provides Treasury Services, which includes transaction services, comprised primarily of cash management and liquidity solutions, and trade finance products. The Markets & Investor Services segment of the CIB is engaged in cash securities and derivative instruments, and also offers risk management solutions, prime brokerage, and research. Markets & Investor Services also includes the Securities Services business, which holds, values, clears and services securities, cash and alternative investments for investors and broker-dealers, and manages depositary receipt programs globally.


Commercial Banking

Commercial Banking (CB) provides industry knowledge, and service to the United States multinational clients, including corporations, municipalities, financial institutions and non-profit entities with annual revenue generally ranging from $20 million to $2 billion. CB provides financin g to real estate investors and owners. CB also provides financial solutions, including lending, treasury services, investment banking and asset management to meet its clients’ domestic and international financial needs. Commercial Banking is divided into four client segments: Middle Market Banking, Commercial Term Lending, Corporate Client Banking, and Real Estate Banking. Middle Market Banking covers corporate, municipal, financial institution and not-for-profit clients. Commercial Term Lending provides term financing to real estate investors/owners for multifamily properties, as well as financing office, retail and industrial properties. Real Estate Banking provides full-service banking to investors and developers of institutional-grade real estate properties. Lending and investment activity within the Community Development Banking and Chase Capital segments are included in other.

Asset Management

Asset Management (AM) clients include institutio ns, high-net-worth individuals and retail investors. AM offe! rs invest! ment management across all major asset classes including equities, fixed income, alternatives and money market funds. AM also offers multi-asset investment management, providing solutions to a broad range of clients’ investment needs. For individual investors, AM also provides retirement products and services, brokerage and banking services including trust and estate, loans, mortgages and deposits. The majority of AM’s client assets are in actively managed portfolios. AM’s client segments consists of Private Banking, Institutional and Retail. Private Banking offers investment advice and wealth management services to high- and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, families, money managers, business owners and small corporations worldwide, including investment management, capital markets and risk management, tax and estate planning, banking, capital raising and specialty-wealth advisory services. Institutional brings comprehensive global investment services including asset m anagement, pension analytics, asset-liability management and active risk-budgeting strategies to corporate and public institutions.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    The ETFs and funds held up on Monday:

    JPMorgan Alerian MLP Index ETN (NYSEArca: AMJ) was down only 0.3% at $46.86, versus a 52-week range of $42.18 to $49.31. Volume was 1.1 million shares versus an average of about 628,000. ALPS Alerian MLP ETF (NYSEArca: AMLP) closed down 0.45 at $17.57, versus a 52-week range of $16.75 to $18.36. This ETF traded more than 3.1 million shares, up from an average of about 2.85 million shares. The closed-end fund of Kayne Anderson MLP Investment Company (NYSE: KYN) even managed to rise by 0.26% to $38.70 against a 52-week range of $33.11 to $40.22. Its volume was also almost 300,000 shares versus an average volume of closer to 218,000 shares.

    It still seems more than interesting that the investment community did not pound the rest of the sector in sympathy with Boardwalk. This Boardwalk MLP still has a $3.1 billion market cap, even after getting cut almost in half. Usually investors try to tie in peers when one implosion is seen versus others. It seems as though they are trusting that negative natural gas exposure here is not going to spill over into the rest of the sector, and maybe not even spill over into the price of units in its more direct peers.

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    The biggest problem with the fund is that while it yields an attractive 7.5 percent annually based on the most recent quarterly distribution, the total expense ratio is presently an astronomical 4.4 percent. This is bound to be a drag on performance over the long run (although it still potentially offers an attractive short-term play). As a result, my preference for a long term investment in and IRA would be to own an exchange-traded note (ETN) based on one of the Alerian indices that I reviewed recently in Navigating the Universe of MLPs. There are several to choose from, including the JPMorgan Alerian MLP Index ETN (NYSE: AMJ), which presently yields 5 percent and has an expense ratio of 0.85 percent.

Top 10 Bank Stocks For 2015: UniCredit SpA (UCG)

UniCredit SpA is an Italy-based holding company engaged in the financial sector. The Company’s division model is based on four pillars: Customer Centricity, A Multi-Local Approach, Global Product Lines, and Global Service Lines. The Customer Centricity area focuses on the Retail, Corporate & Investment Banking and Private Banking areas. The Centralized Multi-Local Approach takes responsibility for the distribution networks and customer relationships. The Global Products Lines are responsible for developing the products and services across all geographic areas. The Global Service Lines which supply the network coverage functions and product factories with specialized services, including Banking Back Office, Information and Communication Technology, Credit Collection, Procurement Services, Real Estate and Shared Service Centers. On October 28, 2013, the aggregate sale by UniCredit SpA of Fondiaria Sai SpA equal to 6.7% was complied. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Corinne Gretler]

    Norsk Hydro (NHY) ASA slumped the most in one year after Vale SA sold a stake in the aluminum maker. UniCredit SpA (UCG) and Infineon Technologies AG added at least 1 percent each after posting quarterly profit that beat projections. Henkel AG rose 2.1 percent as third-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates.

  • [By Alexis Xydias]

    Banks led the rally over the past four months, with Paris-based Societe Generale SA (GLE) and UniCredit SpA (UCG), Italy’s biggest lender, surging more than 45 percent.

  • [By Sarah Jones]

    Banco Popolare SC led Italian lenders higher as the country’s 10-year bond yields declined. Popolare rallied 7 percent to 1.05 euros in Milan. Banca Popolare di Milano Scrl increased 4.7 percent to 52.4 euro cents. And UniCredit SpA (UCG), Italy’s biggest bank, climbed 3.6 percent to 3.63 euros.

  • [By Tom Stoukas]

    UniCredit (UCG), Italy’s largest bank, lost 1.3 percent to 4.71 euros. Intesa Sanpaolo, which appointed Carlo Messina as chief executive officer to replace Enrico Tommaso Cucchiani yesterday, fell 3.5 percent to 1.53 euros. Mediaset SpA, the broadcaster controlled by Berlusconi, dropped 4.5 percent to 3 euros, the lowest price since July 3.