Growth of bank-managed mutual funds kept pace with the fund industry at large last year, assuaging fears that the bank mutual fund engine had lost its steam.

Assets of mutual funds managed by banks and thrifts swelled 26%, to $492.4 billion in 1996, according to data prepared for American Banker by Lipper Analytical Services, Summit, N.J. All mutual fund assets increased 25%, to $3.5 trillion, last year, according to the Investment Company Institute, an industry trade group.

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