Investment News‘ Darla Mercado summarizes the variable and fixed annuity sales of 2009 in her article “Banks’ annuity fee income rose, FA sales fell in ’09 3Q.” Through the first three quarters of last year, bank holding companies saw the fee income from their annuity sales increase. The sale of fixed annuities however, decreased in the third quarter due to their decline in popularity through 2009. With $2 billion in fee income from variable and fixed annuity sales during the first three quarters of 2009, banks saw a 2.5% increase from the same time frame during the previous year. Commissions increased 4% during the third quarter, according to a report of the top 922 bank holding companies. Overall, 71% of the largest banks accounted for almost 95% of the total annuity commissions.
Wells Fargo held the top spot even though their income was actually down from the comparable period in 2008. In second place was JP Morgan Chase & Co who also saw a decline from 2008, albeit a small one. Regions Financial Corp. and Bank of America Corp. saw the largest gains in annuity fee income during the three quarter time period. Western National Life was the largest seller of fixed annuities, despite the product taking an overall decline in the third quarter. Three companies made their way onto the top 10 list of bank annuity sellers last year. Jackson National Life Insurance Co., ING USA, and Hartford Life Insurance Company came onto the top ten list in 7th, 8th, and 9th places. Annuities hold strong as important financial products, despite some declines in the fixed annuity sales.