Bank holding companies sold more annuities in the first six months of 2014 than they did in any first-half-year period, according to the Michael White Bank Annuity Fee Income Report released this week.

Bank holding companies raked in $1.81 billion in annuity commissions and fees in the first half of 2014, up 11.5% year-over-year. The income represented 37.1% of total insurance sales volume, according to the report.

The largest bank holding companies—those with more than $10 billion in assets—accounted for the lion's share of the first-half-year haul, bringing in $1.69 billion, or 93.2% of total annuity commissions.  Those with assets between $1 billion and $10 billion generated $108.3 million and those with $500 million to $1 billion produced $15.37 million.

Of the 422 bank holding companies reporting annuity fee income, 218 were on track to earn at least $250,000 this year, with 127 achieving double-digit growth.  That's more than double the number of banks that achieved double-digit growth in the first half of 2013, according to the report.  

Wells Fargo was the top producer of annuity fee income in the first half of 2014, generating $443 million, followed by Morgan Stanley with $344 million and Raymond James Financial with $169.8 million.

The report is based on data from all 6,656 commercial banks, savings banks and saving associations and 1,063 large top-tier bank and savings and loan holding companies operating on June 30, 2014.

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