Bank stocks fell Wednesday, but several analysts think the election of Bill Clinton ultimately will prompt a rally in the banking sector.
The analysts based their forecasts on hopes for a freshly energized regulatory and legislative climate in Washington under a Democratic administration.
Interstate Banking's Future
Improved prospects for true interstate banking should especially help the market, according to Bradford M. Johnson, managing director for financial institutions at Sterne, Agee & Leach Inc., Atlanta.
A lift in consumer confidence - raising borrowing and stimulating business - as well as new leadership at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency could be net gains, according to Frank R. DeSantis Jr. of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp.
Most bank stocks were down fractionally Wednesday. J. P. Morgan & Co. fell 87.5 cents a share, to $63.375, and NationsBank Corp. lost 37.5 cents, to $46.25. Among over-the-counter stocks, Fifth Third Bancorp dropped 25 cents a share, to $51.75. The Dow closed at 3,223.04, down 29.44 points.
Democrats Pushed Idea
"A lot of people have forgotten," Mr. Johnson said, "and many of the newer people in the industry may not even know, that the last Democratic administration helped the idea of interstate banking gain momentum."
Many important changes in the industry that took shape in the mid-1980s had been outlined and discussed in a study titled "Geographic Restrictions on Commercial Banking in the United States" published in January 1981 on the last day of the Carter presidency.
The study was prepared largely by Orin Kramer, associate director of the White House domestic policy staff and a strong advocate of interstate banking. He was helped by Roger Altman, then assistant Treasury secretary for domestic finance.
Mr. Altman, who is now vice chairman of the Blackstone Group, a New York investment banking firm, has advised Mr. Clinton this year and has been mentioned as a possible Treasury secretary in the new administration.
Other Clinton advisers who may play roles in his administration - including Felix G. Rohatyn, a partner at Lazard Freres & Co., and Robert E. Rubin, a partner in Goldman, Sachs & Co. - are also likely to back enactment of interstate banking, Mr. Johnson said.
Banks seen benefiting from accelerated movement to interstate banking in the Clinton administration * Banc One * BankAmerica * Chemical * Citicorp * NationsBank * Norwest