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The KBW Bank Index continued its upward trajectory in 2013, again outperforming the S&P 500 (all returns are through Dec. 12). This year, many of the top performing bank stocks among those with $20 billion or more in assets were large community banks rather than the biggest institutions.

Total return, year through Dec. 12: 30.2%

Data: Sandler O'Neill and SNL Financial