Investors are turning less frequently to financial advisers and brokers to purchase mutual funds, and more frequently to the safe haven of banks.

While sales of long-term mutual funds through all channels increased only 4% last year, sales of mutual funds through banks increased 7.8% last year to $34.5 billion from $32 billion in 2001. The lion's share of sales were in the first half of the year, particularly in the first quarter, when sales reached a two-year high of $9.6 billion, according to the Kehrer-Invest Bank Mutual Fund Sales Survey.

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