Bank sales of long-term mutual funds totaled $3.2 billion in May, a 10.3% increase from $2.9 billion in April but down 3% since May 2002, when banks sold $3.3 billion worth of funds, reports a new survey by Kenneth Kehrer Associates, Princeton, N.J.
Banks most recent performance was well above the increase of 3.4% in combined assets reported by the U.S. mutual fund industry as a whole, which grew to $6.7 trillion in May from around $6.5 trillion the month before, according to the Investment Company Institute in Washington.
“Mutual fund sales in banks have steadily increased for five consecutive months,” says Lynn Niedermeier, president of Invest Financial Corporation, Tampa, Fla., the sponsor of the Kehrer survey.
Fund sales in banks are up 68% since December, Niedermeier notes.
ICI data shows overall fund assets up by a similar percentage over that period.
Last year, bank mutual fund sales were up 8% over 2001, while ICI numbers show they were up only 4%. In the first quarter of 2003, bank sales were up 6% from the previous quarter, while ICI reported total long-term fund sales down 1.2% in that time, Kenneth Kehrer, head of the research firm, points out.
Kehrer notes, however, that ICI and bank data are not strictly comparable since ICI includes a high percentage of institutional buyers, such as pension plans, in its figures.