Best Bank Stocks

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Contributor, Benzinga
April 18, 2024

The financial services sector is still recovering its reputation in the wake of the Great Recession. Many Americans still don’t trust the banking industry and low-interest rates have caused investors to have second thoughts about buying even the best bank stocks.

But the banking industry is making a comeback, thanks to some new consumer-friendly policies, a return to profitability and rising interest rates. Do individual bank stocks belong in your portfolio? Sure, but it depends on the type of investment you want. Prefer high growth and no taxable events?

Finding the best bank stocks might not be at the top of your list. But if you’re looking for value and income, the financial services sector deserves a close inspection.

Best Bank Stocks Right Now

Stock Movers


TickerCompany±%Buy Stock
JPMJPMorgan Chase$181.140.59%9MBuy/Sell
FITBFifth Third Bancorp$34.260.46%5.4MBuy/Sell
PNCPNC Finl Servs Gr$147.840.39%2.1MBuy/Sell
MSMorgan Stanley$90.190.11%8.8MBuy/Sell
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TickerCompany±%Buy Stock
NUNu Holdings$10.66-1.21%31.1MBuy/Sell
CFGCitizens Financial Group$32.91-0.35%5.9MBuy/Sell
USBU.S. Bancorp$39.40-0.31%8.8MBuy/Sell
FCNCAFirst Citizens BancShares$1549.28-0.05%83.2KBuy/Sell
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Session: Apr 17, 2024 4:00PM EDT - Apr 18, 2024 3:59PM EDT

Best Bank Stocks to Watch Out for This Year: Benzinga's Picks

Interest rates have been trending up for the first time since the Great Recession and many banks are poised to profit on such increases. The banking sector might not enjoy the recent bull market as much as the tech or healthcare sectors, but there’s reason to believe that banks are currently undervalued. Benzinga has picked 5 bank stocks to add to your brokerage account.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM)

Last update: 4:27AM (Delayed 15-Minutes)
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Vol / Avg.1.818K / 8.973MMkt Cap517.723B
Day Range- - -52 Wk Range131.810 - 200.940

Price-to-book value: 1.63
Dividend yield: 2.89%
Return on assets: 1.25%

JPMorgan Chase is one of the oldest institutions in the United States and operates in 4 different areas: consumer banking, investment banking, commercial banking and wealth management.

JPMorgan Chase has exceeded earnings estimates more often than not.

U.S. Bancorp (USB)

Last update: 7:27PM (Delayed 15-Minutes)
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Vol / Avg.0 / 8.764MMkt Cap61.230B
Day Range- - -52 Wk Range27.270 - 45.850

Price-to-book value: 1.78
Dividend yield: 2.85%
Return on assets: 1.51%

U.S. Bancorp is tiny compared to JPMorgan Chase, but the regional Midwestern firm still has an multi-billion-dollar market cap and strong future prospects. Like JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bancorp regularly raises its dividend and has met or exceeded earnings expectations more often than not.

U.S. Bancorp recently introduced an array of new (and unique) digital tools for homebuyers looking for mortgages, home equity loans and HELOCs.

Citigroup (C)

Last update: 4:20AM (Delayed 15-Minutes)
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Vol / Avg.5.354K / 16.319MMkt Cap110.438B
Day Range- - -52 Wk Range38.170 - 63.900

Price-to-Book Value: 0.83
Dividend Yield: 2.77%
Return on Assets: 1.01%

To most investors, Citigroup stock looks cheap and might deserve a spot in your portfolio. The firm has raised dividends often and seems to have shaken off the stench of the massive bailout it received in 2008.

The dividend yield here is generally lower than the other stocks on this list, but there’s strong upside potential here if Citigroup posts more earnings beats.

Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB)

Last update: 6:39PM (Delayed 15-Minutes)
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Vol / Avg.0 / 5.365MMkt Cap23.391B
Day Range- - -52 Wk Range22.460 - 37.410

Price-to-Book Value: 0.96
Dividend Yield: 3.22%
Return on Assets: 1.24%

Massive national banks aren’t the only ones that deserve attention. Small regional banks like Fifth Third Bancorp often have more room to run and the numbers here look solid. The bank has reported strong growth, but it may not have the long track record of some of the other banks on this list.

KeyCorp (KEY)

Last update: 7:48PM (Delayed 15-Minutes)
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Vol / Avg.0 / 16.039MMkt Cap13.291B
Day Range- - -52 Wk Range8.535 - 15.860

Price-to-Book Value: 1.16
Dividend Yield: 4.07%
Return on Assets: 1.33%

Tiny KeyCorp, which operates KeyBank, might be the biggest winner from this group in the future. Despite a smaller market cap, the dividend yield is very generous and has been growing for some time. KeyCorp has a great ROA number despite its small size and cheap price-to-book value. In our opinion, KeyCorp is primed for a breakout.

What Are Bank Stocks?

If you’re like most investors, your first encounter with a bank took place in your own home — with a piggy bank. Unlike a piggy bank, modern banks do so much more than hold your cash, and banks are some of the oldest institutions in the world. Current titans like JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs have been in business for well over 100 years.

They loan to creditworthy borrowers, create debt markets and enable borrowers to access funds they can’t otherwise obtain. Banks charge interest on the loans they issue, which is how they earn a majority of their profits. Therefore, a bank stock is often tied to the lending market, even if your local bank doesn’t mainly handle loans.

Consider that banks like JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Western Alliance, Flagstar Bank, PacWest, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and more are quite diversified, but they still depend on interest payments. Moreover, when these banks are having issues with cash flow, like Signature Bank or Silicon Valley Bank, they could fail quickly.

Since banks are only required to hold a small portion of capital compared to their liabilities (known as the fractional banking system), large banks are required to undergo stress tests to gauge their response to a potential catastrophe. Therefore, a depositor can learn from the news cycle how their bank is performing.

Investors and depositors should also look at how the Federal Reserve sets interest rates. A basis point change is enough to send shivers through the banking sector, Moreover, community banks or regional banks are even more susceptible to failures or runs on the bank because their reserves are generally much lower.

What to Look for in a Banking Industry Stock

Banks are not all the same. Just like any other sector of the stock market, banks are a mixed bag when it comes to corporate citizenship and transparent leadership. As you choose bank stocks for your portfolio, keep these three concepts top-of-mind because the Securities and Exchange Commission can only protect consumers so much. There must come a point at which you understand the outflows of your bank and add some common sense to that analysis.

Price-to-Book Value

The price-to-book value measures the price of a company’s stock against the liquidation value of the firm’s assets. For value investors, low price-to-book ratios could mean a stock is undervalued and due for a resurgence.

Bank stocks traditionally have lower-than-average price-to-book values. For large bank stocks, look for a price-to-book ratio between 1 and 2. For smaller regional banks, a price-to-book ratio under 1 could signal an undervalued stock. Price-to-book value is one of Warren Buffett’s favorite ratios to look for in a stock.

High-Dividend Yield

Banks don’t do much research and development, so profits are often returned to shareholders in the form of dividends. If a bank offers a dividend yield that continually grows over the years, it’s a sign the bank’s profits are increasing. Increased profits results in more money in the pockets of shareholders. Bank stocks are often a favorite among value investors because of the income they provide through dividends.

Return On Assets (ROA)

Return on assets (ROA) is a better measure than the return on equity (ROE) for banks because it enables easy comparisons between companies in the sector. ROA is determined by dividing net income by total assets. For the banking industry, a ROA over 1% is considered a strong number.

Choose the Best Bank Stocks for Your Portfolio

Bank stocks have been a favorite of Warren Buffett for decades and a rise in interest rates could catapult them back into favored status. Recovery from the 2008 financial meltdown has been slow and many investors still don’t trust the banks that happily bought up worthless mortgage bonds during the crisis.

Don’t miss out on this beaten-down sector, which could offer hidden gold, especially when banks have favorable fundamentals like the 5 listed above. Bank stocks right now are on sale and it might be wise to scoop up these deals.

The Biggest Bank Stock Movers of the Day

Stock Movers


TickerCompany±%Buy Stock
ALLYAlly Financial$38.636.52%4MBuy/Sell
BSACBanco Santander Chile$18.131.39%297.4KBuy/Sell
BKBank of New York Mellon$55.161.27%3.9MBuy/Sell
BCHBanco De Chile$22.071.07%188.4KBuy/Sell
BYByline Bancorp$20.050.95%99KBuy/Sell
LYGLloyds Banking Group$2.500.6%9.3MBuy/Sell
JPMJPMorgan Chase$181.140.59%9MBuy/Sell
PNCPNC Finl Servs Gr$147.840.39%2.1MBuy/Sell
BOHBank of Hawaii$56.380.23%337.5KBuy/Sell
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TickerCompany±%Buy Stock
AVALGrupo Aval Acciones$2.35-1.48%81.8KBuy/Sell
IBNICICI Bank$25.41-0.84%6.1MBuy/Sell
BBDBank Bradesco$2.64-0.48%17MBuy/Sell
USBU.S. Bancorp$39.40-0.31%8.8MBuy/Sell
BANCBanc of California$13.80-0.08%2.4MBuy/Sell
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Session: Apr 17, 2024 4:00PM EDT - Apr 18, 2024 3:59PM EDT

Frequently Asked Questions


Are bank stocks part of the financial sector?


Yes, bank stocks are part of the financial sector.


Are bank stocks a good investment?


Bank stocks seem to be on the rise, and could likely be a good investment.


Will bank stocks go up with interest rates?


Higher interest rates are likely to improve profitability, making bank stocks go up in value.

About Dan Schmidt

Dan Schmidt is a finance writer passionate about helping readers understand how assets and markets work. He has over six years of writing experience, focused on stocks. His work has been published by Vanguard, Capital One, PenFed Credit Union, MarketBeat, and Fora Financial. Dan lives in Bucks County, PA with his wife and enjoys summers at Citizens Bank Park cheering on the Phillies.