The sell-off on big banks is over, and shares in smaller lenders are surging

Photo by Philipp Guelland/Getty Images

The big banks are back in favour in midday trade, clawing back heavy falls from this morning’s open.

After getting hammered yesterday, the big four and Macquarie were all down well over 1% this morning.

Since then, they’ve found some buyers. ANZ is back in front, up 0.8% a short time ago.

NAB, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank have made up ground but are still down by between 0.25% and 0.75%. Macquarie opened today down 1.8% but is now only down 0.5%.

In a sign that the levy imposed on them in last night’s budget will open up opportunities for their smaller competitors, the regional players are roaring ahead today.

Bank of Queensland is up 3.8%, while Bendigo & Adelaide Bank is up 4.7%.

Suncorp Group, the biggest bank that will escape the levy, is up 2.33%.

Among other financials, AMP is up 1.3% while the big insurers are posting solid gains. QBE is up 3.3% and Insurance Australia Group is up 2%.

This chart from shows the fall in the ASX200 Financial Index when markets opened this morning, before it started to climb:

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