Small and midsize banks say average gross brokerage revenue produced by their financial advisors fell 24% in January.[@@]

Community banks averaged $21,880 in trail commissions, managed money fees and other income per advisor in January, down from $28,796 in January 2004, according to Kenneth Kehrer Associates, Princeton, N.J.

But the average monthly gross of community bank financial advisors was still 31% above the low of $16,723 recorded in February 2003, says Lynn Niedermeier, president of Invest Financial Corp., Tampa, Fla., sponsor of the monthly survey.

The Kehrer-Invest index of community bank brokerage revenue stood at 115 in January, down from 121 a year earlier.

The index is based on a benchmark of 100 set in 2002. An index of 115 means, therefore, that revenues for that month were 15% higher than for the average month in 2002.

The survey includes banks and credit unions with assets less than $4 billion.

The index for January was 5% lower than it was a year ago in January and 20% below the all-time high of 144 set in April 2004, Niedermeier notes. “Nevertheless, this January’s brokerage revenue in smaller institutions was 58% higher than the low point in the index in March 2003,” she says.