WASHINGTON - The Comptroller's office and the Securities and Exchange Commission will soon start jointly examining bank mutual fund operations.

The joint exam agreement, in the works for months, was signed Monday by Comptroller of the Currency Eugene A. Ludwig and SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt.

The Comptroller's office and SEC will coordinate examinations and share information on the mutual funds advised by national banks as well as the national banks that advise them.

Among the areas of common interest between the two agencies are the risk management systems used by a fund adviser, the management of conflicts of interest between the adviser and the advised funds, and the nature of services provided to a fund by a bank.

The first of the joint exams should take place with a month or two, an OCC official said.

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