With bank asset declines in Japan offsetting gains in North America and Europe, the world's top 100 banks last year posted their slowest growth in more than 10 years, an American Banker survey has found.

The group's assets climbed just 0.5% during the year, to $21.3 trillion. By contrast, assets rose 6.5% in 1996 and by 15% as recently as 1994. (Complete tables start on page 20.)

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