Increased annuity income helped push community bank investment income to $121.5 million in the first quarter, up 2.6% from the total for the first quarter of 2007.

Researchers at Michael White Associates L.L.C., Radnor, Pa., say 21% of the community banks they surveyed had investment programs in the first quarter.

Community banks, which Michael White defines as banks with less than $4 billion in assets, generated $249 in investment program income per $1 million of retail bank deposits, compared with an average of $379 per $1 million in retail deposits at banks with more than $4 billion in assets.

Annuity commissions at the community banks surveyed increased 9.5%, to $35 million.

Annuity commissions accounted for about 29% of the banks’ investment program income, Michael White reports.