NU Online News Service, Sept. 6, 12:25 p.m. – More than 4,200 U.S. banks, or about half of those participating in a new Michael White Associates survey, report insurance fee income totaling $2.98 billion in 2001.

The White firm, a Radnor, Pa. insurance consultant to banks, found that banks with more than $10 billion in assets accounted for 59.5%, or almost $1.8 billion, of total bank insurance fee income in 2001. Institutions with under $10 billion in assets recorded over $1.2 billion, or 40.5%, of this income and earned 14.2% more fee income from insurance than from investments, White reports.

Banks with assets under $100 million recorded the highest mean and median ratios of insurance fee income to noninterest income and attained the second-highest mean ratio and highest median ratio of insurance fee income to net operating revenue, the survey found.

The Midwest had the highest participation rate of banks in insurance, at 55.7%, and earned the most insurance fee income, $774 million, or 26% of the industry’s total.

Banks with over $10 billion in assets accounted for 89.8% or nearly $5 billion of bank mutual fund and annuity fee income in 2001, White found.