Many bankers point with pride to the phenomenal growth of proprietary mutual fund families. But do the numbers really meant that banks are snaring hordes of new customers?

In March, bank proprietary funds had grown to $181 billion, from $79.9 billion at the end of 1990, according to Lipper Analytical Services. However, the majority of the increase may have come from conversions of trust assets rather than sales to new customers.

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