Banks need to do a better job of predicting the future financial needs of the American public, says Nancy A. Bush, regional bank analyst at Brown Brothers, Harriman & Co., New York. Too often, she says, they've lagged a step behind, as they did in the mutual fund boom of the 1980s.

But Ms. Bush is optimistic about the industry, believing the nation's largest 25 banks are capable of challenging any competitor.

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