The fourth quarter is historically a cleanup moment for banks, when executives address lingering credit issues, pay off debt or lay off employees — and the moves will get extra scrutiny this year.

Investors and analysts will seek to determine whether banks are adequately prepared for what is expected to be a tumultuous 2013. Bankers will also have to show how they dealt with the special dramas of last quarter, such as the damage from Hurricane Sandy and fallout from the fiscal-cliff fight in Washington.

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