NU Online News Service, Nov. 18, 2003, 1:15 p.m. EST – Bank sales of annuities increased in September for the second consecutive month, returning to year-ago levels, according to the Kehrer-Jackson National monthly bank annuity sales survey.
Banks sold a total of $4.5 billion in annuities during September, jumping 5% from $4.3 billion in August and 7% over July, reports Kenneth Kehrer Associates, Princeton, N.J., which conducted the study.
September sales were 3% below a record monthly level of $4.7 million achieved in March, notes Brad Powell, president of Jackson National Life Insurance Company’s institutional marketing group, in Lansing, Mich., sponsor of the study.
“While bank sales of fixed annuities have steadily declined from their record high last year, variable annuity sales have recovered and have generally compensated for decreasing fixed annuity sales,” Powell says.
However, fixed annuity sales in banks rose in September to $2.9 billion, up 12% from the year-earlier total of $2.6 billion. That figure was also up from August’s $2.6 billion and July’s $2.4 billion.
“The September total was 17% lower than the record monthly total of $3.5 billion, which was set in May 2002 and matched in July 2002,” Powell says
Variable annuity sales slipped in September for the third consecutive month, after a run of increasing sales for the first six months of 2003. Banks’ $1.6 billion of VA sales were slightly below the $1.7 billion in sales achieved in the same month last year but 4% below August’s total and 13% below June 2003 sales.
“Despite the fact that there has been some improvement in the stock market, variable annuities are not coming back as fast as I thought,” comments Kenneth Kehrer, head of the firm conducting the study.