Hibernia Corp.'s shares recouped most of the early losses incurred after a big block of the New Orleans company's stock changed hands.

The shares closed at $5.625, down 12.5 cents on the day. The block of four million shares, equal to 4.7% of all Hibernia shares, was sold at $5. Hibernia was the most actively traded stock on the New York Stock Exchange, with about 5 million shares changing hands.

The shares were sold by Chase Manhattan Corp., Union Planters Corp., and Barclays Bank. They received the stock as part of Hibernia's refinancing, completed earlier this week. The banks received the stock in place of their loans to Hibernia. Goldman, Sachs & Co. bought the block, said traders.

Banks stocks posted big gains Tuesday, surviving the late-afternoon selloff that dragged the Dow Jones industrial average down 22.42 points, to 3,310.84.

A handful of bank stocks pined at least $1. Banc One Corp. jumped $1.25, to $53.25. National City Corp. rose $1, to $49. Valley National Corp. increased $1.625, to $62.25. Signet Banking Corp. closed at $46, up $1.375. And CoreStates Financial Corp. gained $1.375, to $38.75.

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