Spurred by rising consumer demand for equity mutual funds, financial institutions are expanding their offerings at a near-record clip, according to data compiled for American Banker.

Banks unveiled 93 equity mutual fund portfolios in the first quarter of 1997-the strongest showing in two years, according to the data from Lipper Analytical Services, Summit, N.J. The new funds bring total bank-managed equity funds to 1,226 as of March 31, with assets of $149.3 billion.

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