Banks sold a total of $4.2 billion in annuities in October, up 24% from the October 2006 total.

Fixed annuity sales rose to $1.9 billion in October, from $1.6 billion a year earlier, while variable annuities climbed to $2.3 billion, from $1.8 billion, according to Kehrer-LIMRA, a division of LIMRA International, Windsor, Conn.

Total banks sales for the month hit a 19-month high, reports Greg Cicotte, executive vice president of Jackson National Life Distributors L.L.C., which sponsors the report. Jackson National is a unit of Prudential P.L.C., London.

Banks sold $1.21 in VAs for every $1 of fixed annuities in October, up from a ratio of $1.13 to $1 a year earlier, Kehrer-LIMRA reports.