Standard & Poor's Ratings Services began rating U.S. equity mutual funds Monday.

The Select Fund Evaluation Service opened with a list of the top 24 large-cap growth mutual funds, including several bank-owned portfolios. The service evaluates funds on the basis of their management teams, their sponsor companies, and their returns. It will expand to include small-cap funds next month and mid-cap funds in May.

Seven bank-proprietary mutual funds - from Chase Manhattan Corp., Fifth Third Bancorp., Fleet Financial Group Inc., Commerce Bancshares, Mellon Bank Corp., and PNC Bank Corp.-made the grade out of a initial group of 425 funds, including separate share classes.

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