"The regional banks avoid many of the big regulatory issues that impact large-cap banks," said Siegenthaler. "The first key issue is the systemic risk regulator and the second is the consumer financial protection agency."
He noted that the regionals are "overweight C&I* loans, especially small and middle market. These areas actually do very well."
Craig summed up: "If [regulatory reform] passes, it's definitely a net positive for the regional banks."
"We think the other headwinds that the regionals face outweigh the regulatory benefit," he said. Among those headwinds: outstanding TARP repayment obligations and a "good deal" of commercial real estate exposure, "which is a real concern to us."
The big banks, on the other hand, already "took their hits" in late 2008 into 2009, Katz said. "Their negative loan portfolios have peaked in terms of the negative trends."
"They have lower risk and good reward potential."
Bank of America
Bank of New York Mellon
CNBC Data Pages:
Neither Siegenthaler nor his firm own shares in any of the stocks he named. Disclosure information was not available for Katz or his firm.