A sharp drop in variable annuity sales sent bank annuity sales falling 15% in April.[@@]

Banks and savings institutions sold $3.5 billion in annuities in April, down from $4.1 billion in April 2004, according to the Kehrer-Jackson National Monthly Bank Annuity Sales Survey. The survey is conducted by Kenneth Kehrer Associates, Princeton, N.J., and sponsored by Jackson National Life Insurance Company, Lansing Mich.

VA sales in banks slumped to $1.2 billion in April, from $1.7 billion a year earlier, Kehrer reports.

Fixed annuity sales fell just slightly in the period, to $2.3 billion, from $2.4 billion.

Bank sales of fixed annuities have been spurred largely by the increased popularity of equity indexed annuities, according to Brad Powell, president of Jackson National’s institutional marketing group.