After years of losing market share to mutual fund companies, banks are emerging as solid competitors in the 401(k) plan business, according to an expert on the retirement plans.

Banks administered $128 billion in 401(k) plan assets at yearend 1993, up from $116 billion in 1992 and $74 billion in 1987, said Rebort Wuelfing, president of Access Research, Windsor, Conn. The plans, which corporations may offer their employees, enable workers to defer payment of taxes on a portion of salary earmarked for retirement.

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