Synovus (NYSE:SNV)is a bank to stay away from, according to financial analyst Anand Chokkavelu. Here are three major strikes against it:

  1. Most significant is that Synovus still owes TARP money. Many banks took TARP money during the financial crisis, but to have not paid it back this far along is a huge red flag.

  2. Synovus' bad loan rate is still around 4%, which is quite high -- and it's not even reserving fully for those bad loans.

  3. Synovus is trading around book value, both on a regular and tangible basis. That's a reasonable price point, but in this environment, there are plenty of banks trading at the same price -- banks that pay good dividends and aren't saddled with TARP debt and bad loans.

 See more in the following video.

Smaller, more regional banks are a far less risky choice and make good alternatives to Synovus. The video will reveal some of Anand's favorites. However, if big is what you're after, there's one standout in this sector that you'll want to look into. In a sea of mismanaged and downright dangerous peers, this one stands out as The Only Big Bank Built To Last. We at The Motley Fool and Warren Buffett alike both love this top pick, which you can uncover today in our premium report. It's free, so click here to access it now

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.