Bank insurance brokerage fee income increased to $993 million for the first quarter, up 3.9% from the total for the first quarter of 2006.

Researchers at Michael White Associates L.L.C., Radnor, Pa., have published those figures in an analysis of data from 7,800 commercial banks and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-regulated savings banks. About 2,900 of the banks reported income from insurance and related products for the first quarter.

The firm’s definition of bank insurance brokerage fee income includes commissions and fees earned by a bank or its subsidiary from insurance product sales and referrals of credit, life, health, property, casualty, and title insurance. It does not include income earned from the sale or servicing of annuities, which was, until this year, reported as insurance when the sales were not made by a bank’s securities brokerage operations.

Citibank N.A., New York, reported insurance brokerage earnings of $266 million in the quarter, putting it in first place, ahead of Branch Banking and Trust Company, with $193 million in fee income and FIA Card Services, Wilmington, Del., with $51 million in insurance brokerage revenue.

The greatest rate of growth in insurance brokerage fee income occurred among banks with assets between $300 million and $500 million, where insurance brokerage fee income grew 12%, to $22 million in the first quarter, Michael White researchers report.

Nationally, the ratio of mean insurance brokerage fee income to all noninterest income for banks fell slightly, to 6.6%, from 6.8%, the researchers report.