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These Banks Could Be Big Winners in 2021

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® - Apr 10, 2021 at 7:11AM

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It's not just the big banks that could benefit from the economy reopening.

When we hear about bank stocks in the news, companies like JPMorgan Chase (JPM 1.66%) and Bank of America (BAC 1.09%) tend to get the most coverage. But they aren't necessarily going to have the most to gain from the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this Fool Live video clip, recorded on March 29, Fool.com contributor Matt Frankel, CFP, and Industry Focus host Jason Moser discuss why investors might want to think smaller. 

Jason Moser: We have been talking about this all the way into the end of 2020. Particularly as we look back and saw financials were one of the very few underperformers for the year. That was very understandable. It was also plain to see there were some potential catalysts for banks in general to start coming back around. Particularly on the interest rate side, but also as the economy gets back up and running. Like I said, it's not just the big banks. Ameris Bancorp (ABCB 1.55%) again, another bank that we follow here on the show, a stock I own, but a much smaller bank. I mean, it's just the small-cap when you look at it compared to something like a Wells Fargo (WFC 1.52%). But they're going to absolutely see benefits from that rising interest rate environment. They were coming from a little bit of a dark place as well, just the general market malaise, right there where it pertains to banks and they were just digesting that big Fidelity acquisition. To me, that was another stock at the time that seemed really cheap. Then you look year-to-date and Ameris Bancorp up 40% in looking at their most recent results. It does seem like they are poised for a strong year as well. Nice to see even though smaller banks bouncing back as well.

Matt Frankel: It's pretty much any bank that is primarily a lender which Ameris is definitely in that category. Like for example, Bank of America isn't just a lender. They have an investment banking division. They have a trading desk, they have a wealth management division. Wells Fargo is primarily a lender. Ameris is primarily a lender. Most smaller banks, to your point, are primarily lenders. That's really the subset of the banking industry we saw really get crushed. And who has the most to benefit from things normalizing. Janet Yellen's comments are really the first step toward banks getting back to normal.

Bank of America is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. JPMorgan Chase is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Wells Fargo is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Jason Moser owns shares of Ameris Bancorp. Matthew Frankel, CFP owns shares of Bank of America and Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool recommends Ameris Bancorp. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Ameris Bancorp Stock Quote
Ameris Bancorp
ABCB
$49.69 (1.55%) $0.76
Bank of America Corporation Stock Quote
Bank of America Corporation
BAC
$36.30 (1.09%) $0.39
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Stock Quote
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPM
$122.13 (1.66%) $1.99
Wells Fargo & Company Stock Quote
Wells Fargo & Company
WFC
$45.94 (1.52%) $0.69

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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