NU Online News Service, Aug. 29, 2003, 5:16 p.m. EDT – American International Group Inc., New York, reported $2 billion in annuity sales through U.S. banks for the second quarter, down 24% from its bank annuity sales for the second quarter of 2002.

But AIG still generated enough U.S. bank annuity sales to remain the top U.S. bank annuity vendor, according to data released by Kenneth Kehrer Associates, Princeton, N.J.

Transamerica, Minneapolis, a unit of AEGON N.V., The Hague, Netherlands, held on to second place, even though its U.S. bank annuity sales fell 11%, to $1.2 billion.

Traditionally, consumers who buy annuities through banks have been conservative investors who tend to prefer fixed annuities and other products that guarantee a minimum rate of return.

Some large financial services companies have recently announced intentional cuts in sales of fixed annuities. The companies say they are having a hard time earning high enough rates on their own investments to promise competitive rates to fixed annuity buyers.

But the Kehrer figures show that some large companies are still reporting bank annuity sales gains.

A unit of Allstate Financial Corp., Northbrook, Ill., increased its U.S. bank annuity sales 19%, to $652 million, and the American Enterprise Life Insurance Company unit of the American Express Company, New York, increased its bank annuity sales 151%, to $397 million.