Exploring Potential of the Financial Banking Sector and Stocks

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Are you looking to discover  bank stocks? With so many options available, it can be difficult to make an educated decision to invest or not. The banking sector is a crucial component of the global economy, providing financial services and support to individuals and businesses alike.

If you’re considering investing in bank stocks you need to know that not all bank stocks are created equal. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the largest bank stocks.

Table of Contents

  1. Types of Banks that you can invest in
  2. Exploring  Banking Companies
  3. How to access stocks?
  4. Important metrics for bank companies.
  5. Potential Benefits of banks
  6. Potential Risks of banks
  7. Conclusion

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Types of Banks that you can invest in

  1. Retail Banking: Retail banking refers to the services provided by banks to individual customers. This includes services such as savings accounts, checking accounts, loans, credit cards, and mortgages. Retail banks are typically the most visible and accessible type of bank, with branches located in neighborhoods and shopping centers.

  2. Commercial Banking: Commercial banking refers to the services provided by banks to businesses and corporations. This includes services such as business loans, lines of credit, cash management, and trade finance. Commercial banks work with businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large multinational corporations.

  3. Investment Banking: Investment banking refers to the services provided by banks to help companies raise capital through the issuance of stocks and bonds. Investment banks also provide advice on mergers and acquisitions, as well as other strategic financial transactions. Investment banks work with companies of all sizes, from small startups to large multinational corporations.

Largest financial services companies in 2023

The list below offers data on some of the largest financial services related companies in the US by their market capitalization.

TickerCompany NamePriceDividendMarket Cap
JPMJPMorgan Chase & Co.$156.024$455.94B
BACBank of America$31.950.96$254.12B
WFCWells Fargo$45.771.4$167.87B
MSMorgan Stanley$92.753.4153.86B
GSGoldman Sachs Group$354.5111$101.24B
USBUS Bancorp$38.821.92$59,51B

Source: Xignite

*All stock and price information in the chart presented above is as of July 28, 2023 and shows the list of companies with a market cap of over $40B, their dividend and current price as of July 28, 2023. This chart is provided solely for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice.

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Exploring Banking Companies

Bank stocks, which are categorized as financial stocks, represent companies in the financial services sector that provide banking, lending, investment, and asset management services. Banks play a vital role in stabilizing the economy and recovering from financial crises.National banks and well-established commercial banks with robust fundamentals are more likely to withstand economic challenges. It is crucial to evaluate your risk tolerance and thoroughly research the bank’s performance, asset management capabilities, and the range of services they offer, including consumer and commercial banking services.

The financial crisis in the banking sector has been a significant concern for investors, with events such as the recent COVID-19 crisis and the collapse of regional banks such as Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank & First Republic Bank highlighting vulnerabilities. While risks may still persist and require attention, it is important one does its due diligence before investing.

How to access stocks?

  1. Create a commission - free brokerage account

    Before you open a commission free brokerage account, it’s best to research and compare your options. It’s free to join Public, and unlike other brokerages, we don’t participate in payment for order flow (PFOF)—which means we don’t sell your trades to market makers or third parties. Instead, we route all orders directly to the exchanges and other execution venues.

  2. Fund your account

    There are many ways to fund a brokerage account, most commonly by linking a bank account to deposit and withdraw settled cash. You can also use a debit card or wire transfer to fund your account. At Public, we have partnered with Plaid, the nation’s largest bank connection provider, to make funding your account easy. You also have the option to set up recurring deposits and make investing even more of a routine.

  3. Explore Stocks

    Before investing in any stock, it’s important to consider factors such as the financial health of the company, regulatory environment, market trends, and overall economic conditions.

    You can find this information on the company’s website or on financial news websites. Alternatively, you can use Public Premium, which offers company-specific insights and metrics from leading analysts.

  4. Make an investment

    Once you’ve determined your investment candidates, if you are using Public, simply tap the assets and choose how much you’d like to buy. Public offers fractional investing, so you can invest in stocks and ETFs with any dollar amount.

  5. Create your own theme focused strategy with Investment Plans

    On Public, you can automate your investing strategy with a self-created Investment Plan to consistently purchase additional shares on a recurring basis. Add up to 20 stocks or ETFs to your self-created Plan, and decide how much and how often you want to invest in your plan. Build your portfolio with daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly contributions, and choose whether you’d prefer to evenly distribute funds, or create a custom allocation that supports your investing strategy.

    If you need help narrowing down your selection, we’re soon launching pre-created Investment Plans that may allow you to gain exposure to a mix of stocks and ETFs for a certain theme.

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Important metrics for bank companies.

  1. Price-to-Earnings Ratio (P/E Ratio)

    The P/E ratio is a commonly used metric for evaluating bank stocks. It compares the current stock price to the earnings per share (EPS) of the bank. A higher P/E ratio indicates that the market has high expectations for the bank’s future potential. A lower P/E ratio indicates that the market has low expectations for the bank’s future potential.

  2. Price-to-Book Ratio (P/B Ratio)

    The P/B ratio compares the market value of a bank’s common stock to its book value, which is the value of its assets minus its liabilities. A lower P/B ratio may indicate that the bank is undervalued compared to its assets. On the other hand, a higher P/B ratio may indicate that the market values the company’s assets more than its current market price

  3. Return on Equity (ROE)

    ROE measures a bank’s profitability by comparing its net income to its shareholder equity. A higher ROE indicates that the bank is generating more profit with its shareholder’s investment whereas a lower ROE means the bank is generating more loss with its shareholder’s investment.

  4. Net Interest Margin (NIM)

    NIM is a measure of a bank’s profitability and efficiency in managing its interest-bearing assets and liabilities. It is calculated by subtracting the interest paid on deposits from the interest earned on loans. A higher NIM might indicate that the bank is more efficient in managing its interest rate risk whereas a lower NIM might highlight inefficiencies in management of interest rate risk.

  5. Loan Loss Provision (LLP)

    LLP is the amount of money that a bank sets aside to cover potential loan losses. A lower LLP may indicate that the bank is managing its credit risk well and may be less likely to experience significant losses in the future and a higher LLP may indicate poor management of credit risk & high chances of losses & default in future

  6. Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR)

    CAR measures a bank’s ability to absorb potential losses and remain solvent. It is calculated by dividing a bank’s capital by its risk-weighted assets. A higher CAR could indicate that the bank is more financially stable and has a stronger balance sheet and a lower CAR would indicate the opposite.

  7. Dividend Yield

    Dividend yield measures the amount of dividends paid out by a bank relative to its stock price. A higher dividend yield may indicate that the bank is committed to returning value to its shareholders. A lower dividend yield may indicate that a company is paying a smaller portion of its earnings back to shareholders in the form of dividends. This can be a sign that the company is reinvesting its earnings back into the business, or that it is not generating enough earnings to support a high dividend payout. However, investors should also consider the sustainability of the dividend payments and the bank’s overall financial health.

Potential Benefits of banks

  1. Potential for Dividend Income: Many banks distribute a portion of their profits to shareholders in the form of dividends. Investing in bank stocks provides the opportunity to potentially receive income through dividend payments. Dividends can offer a source of cash flow, which may be appealing to investors focused on generating reliable returns over time.

  2. Exposure to the Financial Sector: Bank sector adds exposure to the overall financial sector in the portfolio as banks play a crucial role in the economy and are often considered a barometer of economic health.

  3. Potential lower volatility: Some larger banks may be well-established institutions with a long history of operations, though not always. Some established banks may have robust risk management systems, regulatory oversight, and a diversified portfolio of assets, which may contribute to their stability, though does not guarantee it.

  4. Exposure to Interest Rate Changes: Banks are highly sensitive to interest rate changes

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Potential Risks of banks

  1. Economic and Market Conditions: The performance of a bank is closely tied to economic conditions. During periods of economic downturns or financial crises, some banks may face increased credit risk and higher default rates on loans, impacting their profitability. Economic factors such as unemployment rates, inflation, and consumer spending can significantly impact the banking industry. Therefore, investing in bank carries the risk of adverse economic and market conditions

  2. Regulatory and Compliance Risks: Banks operate under strict regulations and oversight. Changes in regulations, such as increased capital requirements or stricter lending standards, can impact a bank’s operations and profitability. Compliance costs can also be substantial for banks, especially in response to new regulatory requirements. Additionally, regulatory actions or legal issues faced by a bank may affect its financials and investor confidence.

  3. Credit Risk and Loan Quality: Banks are exposed to credit risk, which arises from the potential default of borrowers on their loans. During economic downturns, loan delinquencies and defaults tend to increase, which can have a negative impact on a bank’s financial health. It is important to assess a bank’s loan portfolio quality, underwriting standards, and risk management practices as you explore bank stocks.

  4. Market Perception and Reputation Risks: The perception and reputation of a bank can significantly impact its stock price. Negative news, scandals, or controversies surrounding a bank can lead to a loss of investor confidence and a decline in stock value. The banking industry is heavily reliant on trust and credibility, and any reputational damage can have long-lasting effects. Investors in bank stocks should consider the potential impact.


In conclusion, bank sector has its own set of advantages and risks. It is important to approach bank sector investments with a neutral and unbiased perspective, carefully weighing the potential benefits and risks in the broader context of one’s investment portfolio and financial goals. It is recommended that investors seek professional advice and carefully evaluate their own investment objectives and circumstances before investing in bank stocks or any other investment.

At Public, we believe that investing should be accessible for everyone. That’s why we offer a user-friendly platform that allows you to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, Treasuries, crypto, and alternative assets—all in one place. Sign up today and continue your journey toward financial freedom.

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