Despite poor returns on bank stocks over the past two years, at least a couple of money managers are creating new products tied to the banking industry, signaling that the worst may be over for bank funds.

The two new funds are the Merlin U.S. Community Bank Stock Fund and the Senbanc Fund. The Merlin bank fund will invest in community banks and will be advised by Merlin Advisors of Columbus, Ohio. The Senbanc Fund is a value fund and will be advised by Hilliard Lyons Investment Advisors of Louisville, Ky. It invests in banks and other financial institutions affiliated with banks. Hilliard Lyons itself is a subsidiary of a bank, PNC Bank Corp. of Pittsburgh. The two funds filed registration statements with the SEC in early April.

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