Bank insurance brokerage earnings rose to $1 billion in the first quarter, up 8.6% from the total for the first quarter of 2007, according to Michael White Associates L.L.C..

Researchers at MWA, Radnor, Pa., say 36% of the U.S. banks supplying financial data reported income from insurance brokerage operations during the first quarter.

About 68% of banks with more than $10 billion in assets participated in brokerage activities. Those banks collected a total of $871 million in non-annuity commission and fee revenue from insurance product sales.

Citibank N.A., a unit of Citigroup Inc., New York, led the bank insurance brokerage rankings, with about $368 million in insurance brokerage revenue.

Insurance brokerage revenue amounted to $199 million at BB&T, Raleigh, N.C., part of BB&T Corp., Winston-Salem, N.C., and $70 milion at FIA Card Services, Wilmington, Del., a unit of Bank of America Corp., Charlotte, N.C.