Banc One Corp. is trimming its list of mutual fund providers, a top executive said.
The Columbus, Ohio, banking company, which now sells mutual funds from about 20 different companies, is whittling the list to three or four suppliers, according to Paul F. Walsh, chief executive of Banc One Diversified Services Corp.
The final selections should be made within a few weeks, Mr. Walsh said in a recent interview.
"We will have a more narrow set of fund families while still offering a broad choice for our customers," he said. He declined to speculate on which suppliers are likely to make the final cut.
Banc One's decision to prune its list of offerings is in keeping with an industry trend.
In cutting their selections, many banks are trying to control the quality of offerings and to make sure their sales people and customers are not overwhelmed by too broad a product menu.
Banc One offers mutual funds through 622 "personal investment centers" located in branches. Funds managed by outside companies are offered alongside the bank's proprietary funds, the One Group of Funds, which have $8.2 billion of assets.
Mr. Walsh said that while Banc One believes its proprietary funds are of high quality, the bank does not push them at the expense of other choices.
"We are relatively indifferent from a profit standpoint as to whether customers want non-proprietary or proprietary funds," he said.