I reckon the Brexit effect on our big banks has been overdone even though there are some genuinely serious risk facing them. But what about the smaller challenger banks snapping at their heels and nibbling at their markets?
Very cheap growth?
OneSavings Bank(LSE: OSB) is one of them, and its share price was hammered along with the rest of the sector immediately after the referendum. But it's quickly recovered, and at 322p today is only a few pence below its pre-vote level -- and if you managed to get in at the bottom on 27 June you'd be sitting on a very nice 83% profit today.
The bank targets specialist markets that it believes offer attractive risk-adjusted returns, and that includes a range of offerings to the private buy-to-let market, commercial mortgages, and bespoke residential lending, among other services.
A Q3 update on 2 November also revealed underlying 13% growth in the bank's loan book for the first nine months of the year, with net loans and advances growing by £466m to £5.6bn, so there certainly seems to be demand in those sectors.
Chief executive Andy Golding said "application levels for the second half to date are significantly in excess of the first half and our pipeline of new business is at a record level." And he added: "We remain confident of achieving our net loan book growth target for this year and double-digit growth into 2017."
Based on that, do you expect to see a share on a premium growth valuation? Not a bit of it here. Despite a 14% EPS growth forecast for the full year, OneSavings Bank shares are on a lowly forward P/E of only eight. And that's with dividend yields of around 3.5% already on the cards despite the bank's existence as a listed company only starting in June 2014.
OneSavings Bank looks like an attractive growth opportunity to me.
An even newer comer
Shares in Aldermore Group(LSE: ALD) have ploughed a similar furrow, plunging in the wake of the Brexit vote but going on to recover most of the loss -- at 204.5p today, the price is down less then 3% since 23 June and is up 91% since its low on 6 July.
Aldermore, which mainly provides financial services to small and medium-sized businesses but is also in the residential mortgage market, reported a healthy first nine months of the year just a week ago. Net loans rose by 15% to £7.1bn by 30 September with a 20% growth in new lending to £2.3bn -- and of that, new business lending was up by 13% with mortgage lending up 24%.
And though the referendum result is seen as likely to hurt the banking sector in general, chief executive Phillip Monks told us that Aldermore has "seen no changes in customer demand" while enthusing about "another strong quarter."
Once again, we're looking at a share valuation that I see as very cheap compared to its growth prospects -- a 12% forecast EPS rise this year would put the shares on a P/E of under eight and with a PEG ratio of 0.7. And though there's no dividend expected this year -- Aldermore has only been listed since March 2015 -- a maiden dividend of 2% is on the cards for 2017.
Seekers of Brexit bargains should definitely be looking among the smaller banks, where I reckon there are some great bargains to be had.
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Alan Oscroft has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.