I firmly believe the fundamentals of both the U.S. banking industry and the economy still support greater valuations for domestic bank equities. I base this view on 17 years in the executive ranks of banking before coming to Wall Street to join Ernst & Co.

During both bull and bear markets for bank stocks over the past five years, the Ernst Bank Equity Fund maintained an incredible record, with average net annual returns of 25%. Two of the past four years, the fund posted net returns greater than 40%. It recorded a 46% net gain for 1995, with an average invested position of only 75% of assets; gross returns were in excess of 53%.

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