Despite a late surge, annuity sales through banks and savings institutions fell to $3.9 billion in August, down 2% from the total for August 2004.[@@]

Continuing weakness in bank sales of fixed annuities accounted for much of the decline, according to Kenneth Kehrer Associates Inc., Princeton, N.J.

The institutional marketing group at Jackson National Life Insurance Company, Lansing, Mich., sponsors the survey.

Sales of fixed products fell to $2 billion, from $2.6 billion, while sales of variable annuities increased to $2 billion, from $1.4 billion.

The ratio of bank FA sales to VA sales fell to 1.01 to 1, down from 1.78 to 1 a year earlier.

Kenneth Kehrer, head of the research firm that bears his name, is attributing the slump in FA sales to low crediting rates.