Strong demand for variable annuities (VA) helped lead to a 6% overall increase in sales of annuities in banks in May.

Total premium revenue from sales of VA contracts and fixed annuities (FA) increased to $3.9 billion, up from $3.7 billion in May 2009, according to Kehrer-LIMRA, a unit of LIMRA, Windsor, Conn.

FA sales fell 11%, to $2.3 billion, but VA sales climbed 45%, to $1.6 billion. VA sales in banks hit the highest level seen in banks since July 2008, Kehrer-LIMRA says.

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