Mutual Fund Forum, a trade group unveiled three months ago, has signed up its first bank as a member.

Chase Manhattan Bank joined the Bethesda, Md.-based association which was set up to educate individual investors about working with financial advisers.

Barbara Levin, Mutual Fund Forum's executive director, said she expected more banks to come aboard. Membership is open to asset management firms that offer mutual funds through financial advisers and companies that distribute funds.

The group now has 50 members, including several companies that market products through banks. For example, original members include several companies that derive more than 20% of their sales through banks, such as Franklin Resources Inc., John Nuveen & Co., Kemper Financial Services, and Putnam Mutual Funds.

In addition to Chase, new corporate members include the Fidelity Advisor Funds, GNA Corp., Keystone Distributors Inc., Lord Abbett & Co., and Pioneer Funds Distributor Inc.

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