Bank sales of annuities climbed to $3.4 billion in October 2006, up from $2.8 billion a year earlier.

Bank variable annuity sales increased 29% from the total for October 2005, to $1.8 billion, while bank sales of fixed annuities increased 12%, to $1.6 billion, according to Kehrer-LIMRA, a unit of LIMRA International Windsor, Conn.

Banks reported $1.13 in VA sales for every dollar in FA sales. The VA-to-FA sales ratio rose above $1-to-$1 for the first time since May 2006.