Canadian bank stocks have underwhelmed investors for the past few years but an investment expert still sees some opportunities in the sector.

Analyst are forecasting that major banks will report on a lacklustre a fourth quarter this week, but Allan Small, senior investment advisor at IA Private Wealth, says he still considers the banks a buy. 
"If you have patience, (and) you know you don’t need your money in the next month or two, I think you can buy the banks,” Small said in a Monday interview with BNN Bloomberg. 
The banks may come under pressure due to loan loss provisions and rising expenses this quarter, Small said, but he believes a likely interest rate pause will kick-start growth for the sector again.
“If the central banks tell us in the next few weeks that they’re not going to be raising interest rates, perhaps we go into the New Year, yields can come down,” he said.
“I think that can be the stimulus, or the one thing that can kick-start people getting excited and seeing growth again, which is what the banks need.”
If the consumer can stay strong, Small said he think banks can weather the economic storm. 
He also pointed to a historic pattern where a lull in bank performance is usually followed by upside reward for investors. 
Investors who pick up Canadian bank stocks now will also pick up some growth and income along the way to the expected rise next year, Small said.
“If you can be that contrarian investor, buy when those are fearful, I think it makes sense over the next 12 months,” he said. 

This is a corrected story. A previous version inaccurately represented comments from a broadcast guest who said he views banks as a “strong hold.”