After a week of fairly consistent negative coverage of the banking sector, investors can likely find a boatload of reasons why they should avoid bank stocks. From the big guys such as Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) to some of the relatively smaller names such as Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM), the industry has been looking downright sorry.

But is it time to write off any stock that sports the word "bank" in its description? Players in the Motley Fool CAPS community don't necessarily think so. That's not to say they have a radically higher opinion of the major banks I've mentioned here -- out of a possible five stars on CAPS, Bank of America has a middling three-star rating, while Citigroup and WaMu both sport two stars. The same goes for the big investment banks. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) has been rated with three stars, but Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers, and Bear Stearns all carry two stars or fewer.

Looking beyond the U.S., though, CAPS players have identified a number of foreign banking stocks that they think are worthy of a full five-star rating.

  • ICICI Bank (NYSE:IBN). This India-based bank is up nearly 60% over the past 12 months, and many investors think the strength will continue. CAPS player Yogeshzambare recently stated that the "Indian banking sector is set to explode in next 5 years on the backing of increasing consumer base and industrial growth. ICICI bank is the best bet in this sector."
  • Banco Santander Central Hispano (NYSE:STD). Earlier in the year, sailor46, noting that Spain has been "flexing its financial muscle and ... expanding internationally," picked this Spain-based bank as an outperformer.
  • Woori Finance Holdings (NYSE:WF). Though South Korea may not have the same cachet as China right now, Fools on CAPS like the prospects for this bank. CAPS All-Star reddingrunner forecasted over the summer that Woori will be "Korea's fastest growing financial institution for the next few years."

Though these are some of the most popular foreign banks, they aren't the only ones that CAPS players like. You can check out some more of the top foreign money-center banks and foreign regional banks on CAPS.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.