The 2016 reporting season suggests underlying fundamentals are becoming positive for the banks. These include slowing margin decline as competition for new customers and the chase for deposits begin to ease, sustained cost discipline, normalising loan losses that would remain manageable, further strengthening in prudential buffers and no reduction in dividends. We can expect these trends to continue into 2017. In this wire, we outline two developments that we expect would build upon these positives, then explain why Westpac is our pick of the big four.