Despite a strong stock market, growth of trust assets at the nation's banks slowed last year, offering fresh evidence that the industry is losing share to mutual fund companies, brokerage houses, and other competitors.

According to an American Banker survey, trust assets managed by the top 100 banking companies in the field grew by less than 5% to $2.9 trillion in 1996. The disappointing growth came in a year when the Dow Jones industrial average posted a robust 26% gain.

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