A year ago, there's no way Huntington Bancshares Chief Executive Stephen Steinour could have gotten away with delivering a presentation that relegated credit-quality issues to slide number 20.

But at a Wednesday Goldman Sachs investor conference, Steinour was among the most aggressive of a group of regional bank executives arguing that their companies are differentiated enough to achieve normal growth in an economy that hasn't. Along with the executives of Comerica Inc., and U.S. Bancorp, Steinour argued that a partial near-term economic recovery was sufficient for his bank to again achieve increased loan volume and steady profitability.

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