Despite a strong showing by variable products, annuity sales in banks fell 16% between November 2004 and November 2005.

Volume dropped to $3 billion, from $3.6 billion, according to Kenneth Kehrer Associates, Princeton, N.J.

Sales of fixed annuities fell 42%, to $1.2 billion, while sales of variable annuities climbed 27%, to $1.8 billion.

Low yield rates contributed to the FA sales slump, according to Greg Salsbury, chief sales officer at the institutional marketing group at Jackson National Life Insurance Company, Lansing, Mich., the company that sponsors the survey.

In November, fixed annities guaranteed for 1 year were paying just 0.27 percentage points more than 1-year bank certificates of deposit, Salsbury says.