Bank brokerage customers did not make a mad dash for the exits during this week's stock market turbulence.

"Quite frankly I think a lot of them had started to prepare for it or just decided to weather it," said Larry C. Kreul, a managing director with Comerica Inc.'s discount unit in Detroit.

Though Tuesday's 299.43-point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average did prompt a few calls to Comerica, most investors were just looking for information, Mr. Kreul said.

The Dow lost 3.4% as the stock market succumbed to worries about declines in U.S. corporate earnings and continuing volatility in the Asian markets. It was the steepest point decline since October's 554.26-point drop.

Many investors are sophisticated enough to take a long-term view of the market and ride out volatile conditions, Mr. Kreul said.

"But there are still certainly a good percentage of people who will try to time the markets, and they're usually the ones that end up losing," he added.

Bank customers are generally not market-timers, said Richard Smiley, president and chief executive officer of Union Bank of California's brokerage unit, UBOC Investment Services in San Francisco.

"We're not like E-Trade, where there's a heavy focus on equities and shorter-term market movements," he said, but added that customers should not ignore "potentially unsustainable levels of performance" in current market levels.

Since late 1997, UBOC has been encouraging people to take a preventative look at their portfolios. "Then, if the market does something like it did (this week), you're not floundering around," he said.

A spokeswoman from Dreyfus Corp., Mellon Bank Corp.'s fund unit that manages $100 billion of mutual fund assets, said some mutual fund shareholders regarded Tuesday's plunge as a "buying opportunity."

A recent survey commissioned by Dreyfus found that 68% of mutual fund investors said they would stay in the market if there was a 20% market correction.

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