Later this week, the nation's big banks begin releasing profit reports for the latest quarter, and expectations are not high.
"I expect that earnings are going to be fairly lackluster," says Nancy Bush with NAB Research, which focuses on the banking industry. "This doesn't imply that we're back to 2007. It's just that earnings have stopped going up on a year-over-year basis."
Banks that have focused on borrowing and lending are expected to outperform firms that have been "a little more involved in Wall Street-type activities," says Morningstar analyst Jim Sinegal.
That includes banks like Wells Fargo.
Still, some analysts anticipate a bump in economic activity this spring, with an increase in home and car loans. That could boost the bottom line at banks in the months ahead.