In the article “Bank-Sold Annuities Hit Fifteen Month High,” Scott Stathis of Insurance News Net writes about the increasing sales of variable and fixed annuities. October of 2009 is the last time that banks have registered sales as high as they were in February of this year after a 27 percent increase from January. Fixed and variable annuities had double digit growth for the first time since last August, according to Kehrer-LIMRA’s Monthly Bank Annuity Sales Survey.
Total annuity sales in February were $3.4 billion, which was 33 percent higher than last February’s sales of $2.6 billion. The last time that annuity sales topped $3 billion before February was in May of 2010. Sales numbers were pretty stagnant for the past six months. An increase in consumer confidence, a decrease in the unemployment rate, and the Dow Jones rising above 12,000 made for a favorable financial environment.
With $1.68 billion in sales in February, variable annuities hit a three year sales high. The month to month sales were an increase of 24 percent, while the increase from last year was 41 percent. Fixed annuity sales were $1.71 billion in February. This was a month to month increase of 29 percent and a yearly increase of 17 percent. The fact that fixed annuity rates increased more than bank CD rates could account for some of this growth in fixed annuities. The Kehrer-LIMRA study accounted for about one-third of all bank annuity sales.