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August A Good Month For Variable, Fixed Annuities

August bank sales of variable and fixed annuities were at their highest levels since March, according to Banker & Tradesman’s “Fixed, Variable Annuity Sales Both Up At Banks.”  The monthly Kehrer-LIMRA bank annuity study found a 22% increase in the total annuity sales from July to August.  The $3.6 billion in sales were up 42% from the start of 2011 and up 24% since August of 2010.  In the past two years, this is just the second time that bank sales have been higher than $3.5 billion.  Annuity sales have been decreasing since April, but experts weren’t expecting an increase to come in August, which is traditionally a flat month for annuity sales.

Variable annuity sales increased 15% from July to August.  The bank variable annuity sales totaled $1.9 billion, which was 56% higher than back in January and 35% above the sales last August.  Variable annuity reviews show that they valued $2 billion in March of this year for the first time in three years.  Sales are just under that now and banks hope to be back at the $2 million mark soon.  With a 32% month to month increase in bank sales of fixed annuities, their sales value reached $1.7 billion.  The gap between five year fixed annuities and five year CDs is at its lowest level in a long time at -21 basis points, down from a peak of 43 basis points in February.

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