NU Online News Service, Aug. 14, 3:59 p.m. – High-income professionals might be more interested in buying life insurance and annuities from banks than they used to be, according to a survey sponsored by Nationwide Financial Services Inc., Columbus, Ohio.

When researchers with Greenwald & Associates, Washington, interviewed 500 U.S. residents under age 60 with annual household incomes of at least $150,000 earlier this year, they found that 18% reported using their banks for help with financial planning, up from 7% a year ago.

The percentage of respondents saying they were unwilling to take substantial financial risk for substantial gain increased to 61%, from 51%.

Survey participants were much more interested in income annuities, fixed annuities and life insurance than they were in 2001, and 53% said they would turn to a bank first for fixed-rate accounts.

But many participants admitted that they need help shopping for fixed-rate accounts: more than one-quarter said they were “not at all knowledgeable” about variable-universal life insurance, variable annuities, income annuities and long-term care insurance.